Every Thursday at 20h00
Council Chamber, 503/1-001


Cycle Sergueï Paradjanov

11th April
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
URSS, 1964, 92min

Film director from the Soviet school and of Armenian origins, Sergei Parajanov presented Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors in 1964. This film brought him international recognition, but the Communist Party immediately blacklisted him. Not having made anything anti political or offensive towards the regime at all, his interests in small independent Ukrainian communities, and his iconoclast cinema rich in symbolism contrast with the socialist realism that is then strongly encouraged to cinema. Indeed, Soviet cinema, which rose in the 20's as a Marxist propaganda force, is encouraging understandable cinema for the masses and should abhor Western ideologies. Some few experimental exceptions, such as The Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) and production from Mezhrabpom studios withstand, but these instances are quite seldom. In the early 60's, cinema took some independence but anything that did not comply morally or politically with the regime was censored and its author blacklisted.

18th April
Sayat Nova – The Colour of Pomegranates
URSS, 1968, 88 min

In 1968 Parajanov releases Sayat Nova. The film is immediately banned by the Soviet authorities, which accuse the director of being too subversive. He is subsequently sentenced to five years of imprisonment and forced labour among others accusations such as of homosexuality and illegal art trafficking. After several years of protests and petitions from international filmmakers and artists, Parajanov is freed but he’s not allowed to put anything to screen. Finally, in 1984, he may finally realize The legend of Suram Fortress, a traditional Georgian tale, after 15 years during which he engaged in other forms of arts, like iconoclast painting.

2nd May
Ashik Kerib
URSS, 1988, 73 min

The film that condemned Sergei Parajanov, The Colour of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova), depicts important elements of the life of poet Sayat Nova (translated as King of Prose). The poet, who was condemned himself by the Persian armies for his religious beliefs, became a real symbol of Armenian national identity, while the Soviet Union condemned any reference to any independence of its states by death. The poet’s role is played by Sofiki Chiaureli, that also plays six other roles, both male and female, thus promoting an ambiguous androgynous image that will also question the sexual orientation of the director. The poet and as well as the director both accept their common destiny of martyrdom waiving any compromise on the substance or the form of their spiritual visions. Resulting in a living picture, with heavy emotional truth, Sergei Parajanov’s masterpiece depicts the sublime and intoxicating portrait of a tortured artist.

8th International Oriental Film Festival

25th April
Unknown Land
Manuel de Coco
Yemen, 2012, 80 min

CERN, in partnership with the 8th International Oriental Film Festival (, proposes the screening of Unknown Land, a film that grasps the universal meaning of the search of humanity as an entity, through a simple spoken story and powerful, carefully picked images. The action takes place in Yemen, in 2011. The Arab spring deflagrates, while the civil war continues. When a sailing boat bearing an Israeli flag sinks, the body of a castaway is found. It’s an ordinary man. In the sinking of his life the castaway sees for the first time a chance to reawake, to know gratefulness, to be reborn. Will he manage to overthrow his destiny? And get back alive? No Hollywood production could ever compare itself to one man’s vision and goal, which achieve expression actively and wildly in one film.

The CERN Cinéclub

The CERN cinéclub is a meeting point every Thursday for anyone who wants to discover, discuss, and appreciate cinema with people who are truly interested in the art of the moving image. In the actual context where downloading became easier than cooking an egg, one might wonder why bother when it can be watched on any computer. Well, cinema is not an individual activity. What the cinéclub offers is a big screen with good quality image and sound. It also offers a careful selection, for allowing people to (re-)discover new and forgotten authors. Finally, it offers the opportunity for meeting people sharing a common interest. So come every Thursday, and see by yourself that watching films can actually be a real party!
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