Wandering minstrel Ashik Kerib falls in love with a rich merchant's daughter, but is spurned by her father and forced to roam the world for a thousand and one nights - but not before he's got the daughter to promise not to marry till his return. It's told in typical Paradjanov style overlaid with Azerbaijani folk songs.Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
This is an excellent movie as far as the artistic and aesthetic dimensions are concerned and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in experiencing the beauty of the Caucasus, or beauty as such. I do not think that there is any need to stress Parajanov's unique depiction of this beauty, after all he is acknowledged (deservedly) as one of the greatest directors of the 20th century. I am not quite sure, however, whether 'Western' audiences will be overwhelmed by Ashik Kerib (by the way 'Ashik' means 'lover', or more accurately, a person who is in love - Kerib corresponds to Turkish 'Garip'= the unfortunate). I showed it to some German friends of mine but they did not seem to be touched by it at all. 'Some' ethnological interest, if not knowledge (and passion) are indispensable. There is only one thing about Parajanov himself which I found irritating. In the documentary which is included in the Rusico edition, Parajanov himself claims to have pursued an ethnological approach in his films - as opposed to the Socialist Realism of his time which he despised so much. But how come that Parajanov says that KURDS are no Muslims when the majority of 90% of Kurds ARE (Sunnite) Muslims when he himself underlines the ethnological aspects of his movies?? How come we have a religious guy who is seen semi-nude (in Islam the exposure of a man's upper part of the body likewise constitutes sin). I did not expect a 100% accuracy watching this movie, and I still prefer it to The Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors and even to Sayat Nova despite its so many flaws (esp. the clothes and customs of the people, surely due to the 'tight budget'). The beautiful language spoken in the film is, of course, NOT Georgian - it's Azeri.
16 of 32 people found this review helpful.
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