Vartanov’s requiem for his friend, the modernist painter Minas Avetisyan (Avetisian), who was assassinated by KGB in 1975, 6 years after he first appeared on film (with Sergei Paradjanov) in The Color of the Armenian Land (1969). Back in 1969, the Ministry of Culture, Goskino, and Armenfilm Studios, demanded to delete the scenes with Minas and Parajanov because they were personas non grata. Vartanov refused and was blacklisted.
Parajanov was imprisoned in 1973. Vartanov was fired in 1974. By the time of his assassination, in 1975, Minas had become an icon… After Armenia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in early 1990s, an official government investigation was conducted, which concluded that Minas was indeed assasinated and that great care had been taken by KGB to make it look like an accident.