7.7/10
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40 user 66 critic

The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

Sayat Nova (original title)
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:

Red Pomegranate 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

The film is referenced in the films Peter Greenaway in Indianapolis (1997) and Erased Faces II (2006). 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

Referenced in Peter Greenaway in Indianapolis (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No, This is definitely not Hollywood
28 January 2009 | by esotericcamelSee all my reviews

For those who need an American equivalent to compare to, it is similar to the work of Brakhage or Anger, the American experimental filmmakers.

It is not Hollywood in that the movie does not rely on a plot, although there is a semblance of one present in this particular movie. The life and poetry of Sayat Nova, the great Medieval Armenian Troubadour, albeit abstractly, is the basis for all the images presented. It is also not Hollywood in that there is no dialog. The interest rests in the unforgettable and arresting images, lovingly created and edited together in the manner of Eisenstein. So in this regard it has more in common with silent film.

Yes, this is an abstract film. Yes, it is pretentious. But what is wrong with that? Prtensious is, after all, what most call something that they have a hard time understanding. Make no mistake, this is an art film to the extreme. A film whose primary concern is not to entertain, but rather to express Parajanov's personal view of Sayat Nova,and more importantly, to preserve to film the medieval Armenian culture which was almost completely eradicated in the Armenian Massacre of 1915 at the hands of the Turkish Empire. This film is historically important for this reason alone. The fact that Parajanov was imprisoned by the Russian Government for not conforming to the strict Social Realist code of film underscores this point. This film was a slap in the face to Communist Russia which wanted to erase the old traditions.

There is nothing much you have to get to enjoy this film, except to marvel at images inspired by an ancient little known culture. There is a lot of beauty in these images which probably seem so foreign and alien to Westerners. That is the point. That is the effect that I believe Parajanov is after. Those that don't get it either lack patience and subtlety, or are under the mistaken assumption that good films must follow the American Hollywood script model. The latter would be making the same mistake as the Russians who put Parajanov in the Gulag. No one who as seen even a bit of this film, could deny that it is unforgettable. And that is what to me makes a good film.


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