Sergei Parajanov was fond of making up and narrating strange yarns. You would hardly tell the difference between the truth and
the lie in his stories. All because his truth was very much like an unbelievable lie; as for his lie... it could easily prove to be true. Sergei Parajanov had an incredible life... At his place, in Tbilisi, you would find antiquities along with absolutely useless things. It was his world, created on the edge of truth and falsehood, full of strange objects. But he was indifferent to objects; it was his way of saying: - I can give away precious things, take them back, make junk look like a valuable object, which means I can live as I like... That's exactly how he used to make films.
It never mattered to him whether what he was saying was true or false. Everything he said was equally important - everybody around him had to live with his truth or lies. That was hissecond nature. He was born in the family of native Tbilisi Armenians. His father used to trade in antiquities. Actually, his mother Siran supported the family. She owned a more profitable business - a whore-house. After the 1920s, the wellbeing of the Parajanov family was ruined. Bolsheviks took away his father's entire property and then jailed him.
Siran tried her best to save the remaining pieces of property... She had a mink coat. Fur needs airing, so at nights, Siran, dressed in her mink coat, would walk under the moonlight on the roof of their house... Sergei Parajanov's life was a combination of wealth and poverty. Parajanov's conspicuous weakness was his mystic and subjective attitude to life. It was worlds apart from the morality of the Soviet system in which he had the misfortune to live. Parajanov used to live in a chimerical way and his life, preserved by his films and marvelous photos, was an endless attempt of fighting against the truth that was buried deep inside him.
He has been charged with illegal hard currency dealings, robbing churches, taking bribes.. .An architect committed suicide; Parajanov was found guilty of his death... He was jailed... Released... Imprisoned again... No matter where he was - in the jail or at large - he narrated stories that amused and frightened the listeners.. His second wife of Ukrainian origin -Svetlana Shcherbatyuk could no longer live on the brink of reality and fantasy, enacting bizarre roles in Sergei Parajanov's 'dramas'. She left him and returned to her homeland.
People who were dear to him used to abandon him and he would try to overcome the loss by turning the drama into a comedy. Once, Ania Parajanova, Sergo's sister came home to find herself in the middle of a real bedlam. A crowd of strangers were gathered in the yard. Several men were busy boiling "khashlama" on the open fire. 'What's going on?' - She asked in surprise. 'It's a funeral' -A stranger told her. "Who's dead?" - She asked. "Sergo's sister Ania" - Was the answer. At the same time she heard Sergo's voice coming from the guest room - he was bitterly crying over the loss of his dear sister... You can imagine the emotions of poor Ania who lived to witness her own funeral! Sergei Parajanov used to say: "Envy was the driving force of my life. I envied beautiful people and became attractive. I envied talented people and became a smart guy". Who knows, maybe in Parajanov's life there was no division line between reality and imagination?!