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MEMORIES OF THE CAUCASUS

Russia, 1991 (MIFF 1992, Documentaries)

Director: Georgii Vlasenko

The Caucasus mountains in southern Rus­sia, sites of memory, history, imagination, longing, mysticism. In Memories of the Caucasus, the work of Sergei Paradjanov, the director of such films as The Colour of Pomegranates and The Legend of the Suram Fortress, is explored uti­lizing the same colourful and graphic symbol­ism, drawing heavily on the folk culture and legends of the Caucasus.

The makers of this documentary have woven a tribute to the great director and artist, bringing together excerpts from his many films, as well as creating their own symbolic elaboration on the themes of love, conquest, magic, fatalism and ritual as they appear in Paradjanov's films.

It is the use of fantastic and symbolic images of nature and the human body involved in ritualistic reverence to ancient edicts, aware of unseen forces, pursued by invading armies, entrapped by history and geography, enticingly depicting the imagina­tive force of Paradjanov's work.

For those familiar with Paradjanov, here is an insight into his creative environment, and for novices an enticing introduction. • Gregory Miller

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