Pumpkin on the Hot Roof of the World

feature documentary




Nejc Saje, Jeffrey Young

“I’ve got the fire, and if I’m lucky, others will get this fire through me.”

Pumpkin on the Hot Roof of the World is an inspiring portrait of an exceptional poet who lived for the sake of art and who worked tirelessly to ignite the spark of creativity in others. Tomaž Šalamun’s life and artistic vision remind us why poets have always been central to the human story. Šalamun believed passionately in the power of poetry to bring people closer to themselves and to each other. For more than 50 years he followed the path of a true poet with single-minded determination, at times paying a high price for his total devotion to his art. Adored around the world for his verse, charisma, and heartfelt support for poets—particularly in the US, where he taught for two decades—Šalamun’s private life was marked by the struggles surrounding the bitter break-up of his first marriage and his lifelong refusal to compromise as an artist. This caused him numerous personal as well as political problems back home in Slovenia, including a brief stay in prison. In the film Šalamun reflects on the formative periods of his life and shares his profound insights into poetry and the creative process. The story unfolds through a mix of interviews, documentary footage and numerous examples of the poet reading his work. By exploring Šalamun’s life and quest as a poet, the film raises important questions about the nature of freedom, creativity and love. At this critical moment in human history, it’s time to share the vision of a true poet with the world.


Directors: Nejc Saje, Jeffrey Young
Scriptwriter: Jeffrey Young
Director of photograpy: Nejc Saje
Editor: Peter Ban
Sound designer: Sašo Kalan
Music: Ousmane Ag Mossa, Sašo Kalan
Producer: Viva Videnović

Production: Strup produkcija (Slovenia), Pigeon Point (Czech Rep.), RTV Slovenija
Financial support: Slovenian Film Center