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The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

Sayat Nova (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Music | 27 January 1982 (France)
A super-stylized, surreal biography of Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova, whose life is depicted through non-narrative amalgamations of poetic images.




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Credited cast:
Poet as a Youth / Poet's Love / Poet's Muse / Mime / Angel of Resurrection
Melkon Alekyan ...
Poet as a child (as M. Alekyan)
Vilen Galstyan ...
Poet in the cloister
Gogi Gegechkori ...
Poet as an old man (as Giorgi Gegechkori)
Spartak Bagashvili ...
Poet's father
Medea Japaridze ...
Poet's mother
Hovhannes Minasyan ...
Onik Minasyan ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuri Amiryan
I. Babayan
Medea Bibileishvili
T. Dvali
Aleksandr Dzhanshiyev ...
Guranda Gabunia
Zh. Gharibyan


One of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century, Sergei Parajanov's "Color of the Pomegranate," a biography of the Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova (King of Song) reveals the poet's life more through his poetry than a conventional narration of important events in Sayat Nova's life. We see the poet grow up, fall in love, enter a monastery and die, but these incidents are depicted in the context of what are images from Sergei Parajanov's imagination and Sayat Nova's poems, poems that are seen and rarely heard. Sofiko Chiaureli plays 6 roles, both male and female, and Sergei Parajanov writes, directs, edits, choreographs, works on costumes, design and decor and virtually every aspect of this revolutionary work void of any dialog or camera movement. Written by PARAJANOV.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Besides the film language of Griffith & Eisenstein cinema hasn't discovered anything revolutionary new until The Color of Pomegranates - Mikhail Vartanov


Biography | Drama | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

27 January 1982 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Red Pomegranate  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The version available on DVD now was first released in its entirety in 1992. This is the version that was submitted to the Soviet censors in 1969 and rejected and re-cut considerably. There is a fuller version, longer than the director's cut still in the archives (somewhere) of Armenfilms. See more »


Poet as a Youth: In this healthy and beautiful life my share has been nothing but suffering. Why has it been given to me?
See more »


Referenced in Paradzhanov (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating and unusual film
7 April 2007 | by (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

The Color of Pomegranates (made in 1968, and also released under the name Sayat Nova) is not really a conventional movie. It is more like a series of tableaux "inspired" by 18th century Armenian poet Nova. It is nonetheless fascinating, and should be required viewing for anybody interested not only in Armenian culture but in cinema in general (or, if you wish, the visual arts). This movie has inspired many artists, including some music videos (admittedly not among the arts' highest form), including REM's "Losing my Religion" and Deep Forest's "Sweet Lullaby. There is a heavy homo erotic subtext to many of the tableaux, and as a matter of fact, Paradjanov would later spent several years in jail in the Soviet Union accused, among other things, of homosexuality. Though released under international pressure, it would take him another 16 years to make another movie, shortly before his untimely death in 1990.

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