Sergei Parajanov was officially rehabilitated 50 years later: what the USSR accused the director of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors of
Exactly 100 years have passed since the birth of the legendary director of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Sergei Parajanov. Half a century has passed since the Soviet authorities sentenced the legendary cultural figure to 5 years in a strict regime camp for "Ukrainian nationalism and homosexuality."
Finally, 50 years after the director's trial, Serhiy Parajanov was legally recognized as rehabilitated, the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory reported. The case was supported by the Office of the President of Ukraine and Ukrainian human rights activists, said Anton Drobovych, head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory
"The legal rehabilitation of Sergei Parajanov is a truly remarkable and significant event. It is yet another proof of the thesis that goodness and justice ultimately prevail, even if in a strategic perspective. All victims of the communist totalitarian regime, as well as any totalitarian regime, have the right and opportunity to be restored to dignity and truth," Drobovych said at the UINP.
The Institute of National Remembrance also wrote that the decision to rehabilitate Serhiy Parajanov "is a landmark precedent for the consideration of other high-profile cases of Ukrainian dissidents who were convicted by the communist totalitarian regime on trumped-up charges under the so-called 'general criminal articles'.
The case of the arrest began in 1964. At that time, during the premiere of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Parajanov's long-awaited film, a protest by creative intellectuals against mass political repression by the USSR took place in Kyiv's Ukraina Cinema, UINP reports .
Subsequently, 9 years after the premiere, the Soviet authorities decided to imprison Sergei Parajanov for 5 years in strict regime camps, accusing him of "Ukrainian nationalism and homosexuality," probably because of the film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. The Ukrainian-Armenian filmmaker was released from arrest by the Russian sculptor Lilya Brick, who later helped him write a letter to Leonid Brezhnev to allow Parajanov to travel to Iran for a year. Unfortunately, the artist never received a response.
Andriy Kohut, Director of the Security Service of Ukraine Archive, responded to the information about the rehabilitation on Facebook: "This news was hard to keep to myself and I am very glad that it has already been widely spread in the media. On December 20, the National Rehabilitation Commission and I finally rehabilitated Sergei Parajanov. Unfortunately, there are far fewer documents of State Security Committee of the USSR about the director than there used to be. "Loafer" was the operational nickname Parajanov received from the Chekists. From the surviving card, it is known that the 5th Directorate of the State Security Committee of the USSR, the same one that fought against dissidents, was involved in its development."