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Ukraine Clears Sergei Parajanov of 'Homosexuality' Charges Posthumously

Ukraine Clears Sergei Parajanov of 'Homosexuality' Charges Posthumously

The National Rehabilitation Commission of Ukraine has officially acquitted the renowned film director Sergei Parajanov, who was found guilty of "homosexuality" by the USSR court 50 years ago and sentenced to five years in prison.

According to the report, following a comprehensive analysis of the director's criminal case and archival documents, they have concluded that a political motive was behind Parajanov's prosecution and conviction.

In 1974, Parajanov received a five-year imprisonment sentence in a strict regime camp on charges of "rape" and "pornography". Throughout the trial, he acknowledged his non-traditional sexual orientation but vehemently denied the accusations of rape.

Criminal proceedings were instigated against Parajanov, notably subsequent to his efforts in supporting Ukrainian writers accused of anti-Soviet propaganda.

“It is very inspiring that this restoration of justice took place just before the centenary of the birth of Sergei Parajanov," said the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory Anton Drobovych.

About Parajanov:

Born on January 9, 1924, in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sergei Parajanov, also known as Paradjanov (born Sarkis Paradjanian), was a significant figure in Soviet cinema. His creative genius traversed the realms of Ukrainian, Armenian, and Georgian cinema His upbringing in the ethnically diverse Caucasus region greatly influenced his work.

Sergei Parajanov, an imaginative filmmaker and artist, navigated through the turbulent landscapes of Soviet politics, artistic repression, and a fervent creative drive, leaving an indelible mark on the cinematic world.

His artistic journey commenced during his youth, studying at Tbilisi State University and later at the VGIK (All-Union State Institute of Cinematography) in Moscow. Drawing inspiration from the rich cultural tapestry of his homeland and the diverse traditions of Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine, his creative instincts transcended conventional boundaries.

In the 1960s, Parajanov emerged as a trailblazer in cinema, challenging Soviet filmmaking norms with his poetic and visually striking films. Works like "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" (1964) and "The Color of Pomegranates" (1969) departed from traditional storytelling, embracing a surreal, dreamlike style that blurred reality and myth.

However, Parajanov's unwavering commitment to artistic truth often clashed with Soviet censorship. Despite earning reverence from international audiences and critics, his films faced suppression and persecution from Soviet authorities. Nevertheless, he persisted in expressing his distinctive artistic vision, refusing to compromise his creativity.

Amid periods of confinement, Parajanov sought solace in his art, exploring collage, assemblage, and other visual forms. Even during the darkest moments, his ingenuity and resilience shone through, turning constraints into opportunities for artistic exploration.

Beyond his cinematic achievements, Parajanov's persona was as enigmatic as his films. He was a captivating figure, known for his eccentricity, wit, and profound philosophical musings, leaving a lasting impact on those around him.

In 1988, amidst changing political tides, Parajanov briefly experienced more creative freedom, culminating in the completion of his final film, "Ashik Kerib," a testament to his unwavering dedication. However, his health deteriorated, and he passed away on July 20, 1990, leaving an unparalleled legacy in cinema.

Sergei Parajanov's legacy endures as a testament to the power of uncompromising artistic expression and human resilience in adversity. His films continue to inspire filmmakers and artists across generations, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries, inviting audiences into a mesmerizing world governed by imagination.


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