“You Want to Make me Speak? No way!” Artavazd Pelechian

“You Want to Make me Speak? No way!” Artavazd Pelechian

In the whole period of his creative life Artavazd has solely two private talks with his preferred reporters—in Moscow and Paris. “You want to make me speak? No way. I won’t!”- this was the response of this legendary Armenian to the request of tens of journalist, who came to meet him years ago in ‘Zvartnots’ airport.

Turns out, keeping silent is a principle for Pelechian, a promise, which he has never betrayed. He gave his word to be silent to Leonid Kristi, his master in Moscow at VGIK (Russian state University of Cinematography), about whom maestro speaks of with special tenderness and feeling of gratitude, and in the studio of whom he studied directing in the period of 1963-1967.


“You just make films and keep silent.” This was the message of maestro Pelechian’s master Leonid Kristi to him, about whom once taciturn Pelechian remembered:

“He was a wise man. If not him, I wouldn’t enter the Institute. I was lucky to meet such a person. On that year at entrance exams 80 applications were submitted for one place. I had neither a waybill nor characteristic. I was from Armenia, and my entry might be on account of a Russian student.  I didn’t pass the exam on Russian language well, I got fewer points, and if not him, I wouldn’t have passed, although I passed four vocational exams with excellence. My master learns, that I have no documents, but he felt, that vocational exams I passed very well. They offered me to bring a formal letter from the passport service, which read that this person is giving an exam in this faculty.

We inform, that he finished an Armenian school, and ask you to take this fact into consideration. That’s all. I failed to have the document. And I’d be ejected from the Institute, if Leonid Kristi didn’t announce: “If you don’t give me that boy, I’ll refuse to take the group.” This way I entered and studied at VKIG.”

February 22 is Artavazd Pelechian’s birthday, one of the world cinematography greatest masters.

Happy birthday, dear Master!

Poet of Cinema: Artavazd Pelechian (2009), director-Hayk Ordyan


By Nvard Manvelyan

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