Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990)
Sergei Parajanov (born Sarkis Hovsepi Parajaniants and sometimes spelled Paradzhanov or Paradjanov, born in Tbilisi, Georgia) was an Armenian Soviet film director, screenwriter and artist, who made significant contribution to world cinema with his films “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” and “The Color of Pomegranates”.
He invented his own cinematic style, which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism. This, combined with his controversial lifestyle and behavior, led Soviet authorities to repeatedly persecute and imprison him, and suppress his films. Despite this, Parajanov is considered to be one of the 20 Greatest Film Directors of all time.
After his health seriously weakened by four years in Russian hard labor camps and nine months in prison in Tbilisi, Parajanov died of lung cancer in 1990, at a time when, after almost 20 years of suppression, his films were being featured at foreign film festivals.
In January 1988, he said in an interview, “Everyone knows that I have three Motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I’m going to die in Armenia.” Sergei Parajanov is buried at Komitas Pantheon in Yerevan.
While travelling in Armenia, you should definitely visit the Parajanov Museum, one of the most popular museums in Yerevan. Comprising some 1,400 exhibits, the museum’s collection includes installations, collages, assemblages, drawings, and many other master’s works.