A Piece of Sky (1980 film)

A Piece of Sky (a.k.a. A Slap in the Face) (Armenian: Կտոր մը երկինք) is a 1980 Soviet comedy film directed by Henrik Malyan, based on Vahan Totovents's story "Light Blue Flowers". It is a societal critique told through the love story between Torik, a shy outcast janitor, and Anjel, a prostitute.

A Piece of Sky
A Piece of Sky.jpg
Կտոր մը երկինք
Directed byHenrik Malyan
Screenplay byStepan Alajajyan, Henrik Malyan
Music byTigran Mansuryan
Release date
  • 3 October 1980 (1980-10-03)
Running time
92 minutes
CountrySoviet Union


Orphaned young Torik is adopted by his aunt, Turnanta, and uncle, Grigor-agha. His uncle tries to interest in his profession, making saddles for donkeys, but the boy dreams only of freedom from Armenia's repressive society of the 1930s. The boy takes over the business upon his uncle's death. As he grows up, his aunt tries to find him a wife. However, due to his job and status, no woman in the village wants to marry him.

A trio of prostitutes arrive in town, as men begin pacing haughtily outside the brothel door, sneaking in while no one is looking. Torik enters, where he meets a beautiful prostitute named Anjel. He falls in love with her, and declares to his aunt that he wants this prostitute as his wife. The young man is forced to stand up against town bigotry and insist on his own way of life, as he is willing to do anything to forge his own happiness. Together, these two marginalised characters are redeemed and brought back into society through traditional rites.[1][2][3]


  • Frunzik Mkrtchyan – Grigor-agha
  • Sofiko Chiaureli – Turnanta
  • Ashot Adamyan – Torik
  • Galina Belyayeva – Anjel
  • Tigran Voskanyan – Teenage Torik
  • Arsen Kuyumjyan – Young Torik
  • Arshavir Geodakyan – Asatur, butcher
  • Armen Khostikyan – Factory worker
  • Marie Rose Abousefian – Factory worker's wife
  • Galya Novents – Hovakim's wife
  • Harutyun Movsisyan – Arsen, butcher's apprentice
  • Azat Sherents – Priest
  • Leonard Sarkisov – Hairdresser
  • Alexander Galibin – Sasha
  • Aleksandr Hovhannisyan – Teacher
  • Natalya Krachkovskaya – Prostitute
  • Evelina Shahiryan – Prostitute
  • Meline Hamamjyan – Mariam, neighbour
  • Rafael Kotanjyan – Womanizer
  • Mayis Gharagyozyan – Karaseryan


In 1980 Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that the film is "acted and directed as straightforwardly as can be, and in this regard it is oddly refreshing. There's no more to this movie than meets the eye." [4]

The Armenian Reporter wrote, "The tempo and spirit of the film are joyous and the surprise ending literally takes you out of your seat".[5]


Sofiko Chiaureli was awarded the People's Artist of the Armenian SSR for her role in the film.

The film was featured at the San Remo Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival (1983), and BYU International Cinema Festival of comedy (fall 1985)[6]

In 1981, at the 14th Vilnius All-Union Film Festival, Henrik Malyan received the award for Best Director. Tigran Mansuryan was awarded the Best Music Award and Ashot Adamyan was considered the most charming actor of the film festival.[7]


  1. ^ "Armenian Films. TJVJIK (1961) & A PIECE OF SKY (1980) | U-M LSA Center for Armenian Studies (CAS)". ii.umich.edu. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (1982-04-29). "'A Slap in the Face'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  3. ^ "1985 Fall". BYU International Cinema. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (1982-04-29). "'A Slap in the Face'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  5. ^ "1985 Fall". BYU International Cinema. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  6. ^ "1985 Fall". BYU International Cinema. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  7. ^ "Կտոր մը երկինք". matyan.am. Retrieved 2020-01-07.

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