The leading role in the film is performed by a French actor of Armenian descent Serge Avedikian, who personally knew the Ukrainian director.
Serhiy Paradzhanov, along with other cultural figures actively campaigned against political arrests in the Soviet Ukraine. He applied to the top party and state bodies, demanding an explanation for the persecution of Ukrainian intellectuals and stood for the conduct of public trials, which should have ensured the fair proceedings.
He advocated the observance of freedom of speech in the media. For such his actions, in 1973 Paradzhanov was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in a penal colony. The director was set at liberty in 1977 thanks to an international protest campaign.
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