Tbilisi and the ghost of Sergei Parajanov

Recently me and A. had a peculiar marathon. No, we didn´t run for more than 42 kilometers. We just spent an entire weekend watching all Sergei Parajanov´s movies.

‘Everyone knows that I have three motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I’m going to die in Armenia’, predicted Parajanov one day. In fact, Parajanov died in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1990, but I believe his soul is still alive, haunting travellers… and probably musicians.

It all started in Tbilisi [you can see the photo report here]. During our stay in georgian capital, we were wandering around the city center and, suddenly, had the first meeting with Parajanov: in a square surrounded by restaurants, there was a statue of this (at the time) unknown old man, jumping and scaring who stop by. At the moment I took a picture, I didn´t know his haunt was about to start!

During this night, at the hostel we were staying in, me and A. met some other travelers and talked with the night receptionist. He laughed when I showed him the Parajanov´s statue picture. – You know what? Our hostel is called ‘Pomegranate’ thanks to his movie called ‘The Color of Pomegranates’! I laughed back: three hours before I didn´t know about this character and at that moment I was feeling I was sleeping in his house.

Some days later, me and A. travelled to Yerevan [you can see the photo report here]. We took the night train, leaving Tbilisi around 10 pm and arriving in the next morning, around 7.30 am, in armenian capital. The trip was pleasant and our first image of Armenia was perfect: the sunrise.

Once we arrived in the hostel, we asked some tips about what to see in armenian capital and, among many things, the receptionist suggested Sergei Parajanov´s museum. I laughed again as I had the feeling that mr Parajanov was calling us.

In the same day we decided to went there. We heard about his controversial lifestyle and special behaviour, we learned how significant he was (and still is) to the sovietic cinema. In the end, me and A. decided to watch his movies.

After our trip, my girlfriend went one week back home, in France, while I did the same, visiting my relatives in Lisbon. To be honest, we totally forgot about Parajanov… but the director didn´t forgot us! Once I arrived, Parajanov contacted me again: Lisb-On festival was about to start and Nicolas Jaar was heading the line-up in the first night. In an interview to a portuguese newspaper, Jaar said he was going to present his new album called ‘Pomegranates’ in Lisbon!

Scared, I called A.. – Parajanov is in Lisbon!!!. – We better watch his movies as soon as possible… – she answered. And so we did: during a weekend we saw 10 of his classics. After our marathon, ‘The Color of Pomegranates’ became one of my favorite movies and Parajanov´s ghost finally dissappeared.

If you are planning to go to Tbilisi or Yerevan, be ready, Parajanov´s ghost might haunt you too!

Over the last years I’ve managed and developed this blog as a meeting point to connect travelers and bloggers, writers and photographers, you and me. Feel free to support PedroL: you can do it by a simple 1dollar/euro donation or by purchasing one of my ebooks. It’s easy and the best way to help me to keep this project. Thank you!

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