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The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

Sayat Nova (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 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.

Director:

Sergei Parajanov

Writers:

Sayat Nova (poems), Sergei Parajanov
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Cast

Credited cast:
Sofiko Chiaureli ... Poet as a Youth / Poet's Love / Poet's Muse / Mime / Angel of Resurrection
Melkon Alekyan Melkon Alekyan ... Poet as a child (as M. Alekyan)
Vilen Galstyan 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 Hovhannes Minasyan ... Prince
Onik Minasyan Onik Minasyan ... Prince
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yuri Amiryan Yuri Amiryan
I. Babayan I. Babayan
Medea Bibileishvili Medea Bibileishvili
T. Dvali T. Dvali
Aleksandr Dzhanshiyev Aleksandr Dzhanshiyev ... Monk
Guranda Gabunia Guranda Gabunia
Zh. Gharibyan Zh. Gharibyan
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Storyline

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. Written by PARAJANOV.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Armenian | Azerbaijani | Georgian

Release Date:

27 January 1982 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Color of Pomegranates See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Armenfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Commercial Cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Criterion released the Blu-ray of Parajanov's restored Sayat Nova (The Color of Pomegranates) with Mikhail Vartanov's Tsvet armyanskoy zemli (1969) and Martiros Vartanov's first film, entitled The Last Film, in 2018. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Paradzhanov (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sacred mysteries of a lost, ancient culture...
21 December 2004 | by AutonomeSee all my reviews

Unlike most modern films, Color of Pomegranates does not abandon the subtle, pensive quality of silent film; it is actually a stunning evolution of silent film.

Here Parajanov documents an almost mythical culture lost long ago to history. I believe it is ancient Armenia. It is methodically presented as a slow series of visual artifacts. Each artifact is a complete scene composed foremost of an authentic visual setting, to which is added the hypnotic effect of some simple motion and ambient sounds, the source of which are often not even in view. Together these hypnotic scenes slowly mesmerize and transport the viewer to the mood and feel of a lost culture.

Besides scenes of ordinary ancient existence, which are amazing enough to see, compelling rituals are presented and left as purely mysterious, earthy, and spiritual, which the viewer can only struggle to explain.

The film is also a treasure of authentic clothing and costumes you may otherwise never see.

Color of Pomegranates serves as a surprising unspoken testament to this lost, ancient culture.

I rented this as a movie on DVD, which thankfully seems easy to find in the USA. I highly recommend the DVD, as it also offered a commented version by Parajanov himself, and an incredible interview with Parajanov, before he sadly passed away, in which he describes some of his amazing, tragic life and his epic struggles to create and release his work, most of which, including Color of Pomegranates, was banned or censored in the former Soviet Union. His years WASTED in damn Soviet prison are a true black mark on humanity, and one can only wonder what other fantastic work he might have created had he been free. His own story appears to be worthy of one of his many great films, as it is biblically tragic yet unquestioningly triumphant.


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