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Pumpkin on the Hot Roof of the World tells the story of legendary Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun, one of the most unique and influential poets of the last half-century.

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

Tomaž Šalamun reminds us why poets have always been central to the human story. He believed passionately in the power of poetry to liberate the human spirit and bring people closer to themselves and to each other. During his life Šalamun published over 50 books of poems. His work, translated into over 30 languages, continues to inspire countless poets, students, and readers around the world.

Šalamun came of age as an artist during the revolutionary 1960s, and his diverse body of work is infused with the spirit of radical freedom that confronts head-on the conventions of the status quo. For more than 50 years he dedicated his life to poetry with single-minded focus, regardless of the consequences.

The film follows Šalamun at home and abroad during 2012–2013—in what would be the last active years of his life. Following Šalamun's death in December 2014, the directors expanded the scope of the film to include nearly 30 interviews with close family members and other poets, artists and former students who knew him well. Through a mix of conversations, rare archival material and numerous examples of the poet reading his work, the film reflects on the formative experiences of Šalamun’s life and shares his unique insights into poetry and the creative process. What emerges is an intimate, multi-layered portrait of an artist who lived for the sake of art and who worked tirelessly to spark creativity in others.


By exploring Šalamun’s life and quest as a poet, the film raises crucial questions about the nature of freedom, creativity, and love.

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A film by Nejc Saje & Jeffrey Young

Produced by Strup Produkcija, Pigeon Point, RTV Slovenija

with support from the Slovenian Film Centre

Production: Viva Videnović
Editing: Peter Ban, Jeffrey Young
Music: Ousmane Ag Mossa

Running time: 75 minutes

Language: English



on the Hot

Roof of

the World

Poetry and the Eternal

Life of Tomaž Šalamun

Not just for poetry lovers.

It's a love letter to everyone in the world.

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