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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Another odd, exotic fable from the Soviet Union's most enigmatic filmmaker, set this time in a storybook past where, to win the hand of his true love, a penniless minstrel is forced to wander for a thousand days in search of wisdom and enlightenment. Parajanov is one of the leading figures in his country's so-called 'poetic cinema movement', which means his films are crude, heavily stylized rites of passage, thick with symbols and anachronisms. The naive, almost primitive formality recalls both the ancient, ritual folklore of its Central Asian setting and the cheap conventions of early silent film melodrama, with the Georgian voice-over narration (added on top of Parajanov's post-dubbed Azerbaijani dialogue) giving the film an added level of weirdness. On his magical quest the lovelorn troubadour encounters a blind wedding party, a despotic sultan with a toy machine gun toting harem, a pantomime tiger, and survives various other trials and tribulations, all to a nerve-racking background of wailing Middle Eastern music.
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