Harry Tamrazian: Sergei Parajanov

“Everyone knows that I have three Motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I’m going to die in Armenia.” A quote from an interview with Sergei Parajanov, this master of Cinema, whose life – with interviews, clips from some of his film, archive footage – is described in the Current Time TV production directed by Harry Tamrazian, feature length, informative, a good tv-documentary.

For me it was a dear re-visit of the world of Parajanov. That I wrote about five years ago when I was in Jerevan and visited the museum that is set up in his name – http://www.filmkommentaren.dk/blog/blogpost/2427/

The museum is not directly part of the film but several of his collages are in the film that competently takes you through his life, his imprisonment because of the Soviet regime accusing him of homosexuality – it was mentioned that he had an affair with a KGB-officer! The best parts, however, are the citations from his films, were you can see how totally visually he was thinking, in many ways revolutionising the cinema language. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” and “The Colour of Pomegranates” – wow – the latter from 1968 still stands out. 1968 was not “only” political rebellion and the invasion of Prague, it was also the year where outstanding cinema was made. There is wonderful archive footage in the film about Parajanov, his voice is being heard, his beautiful relationship to Tarkovsky is explained as is his horrible fate and early death 66 years old suffering from years in labour camps.

After the screening here in Tbilisi I asked younger non-Georgian professionals about Parajanov – they had never heard about him! Now they have the chance to be introduced into his world!

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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