In his debut Mikhail Vartanov presents the ancient and modern art of Armenia through post-impressionist painter Martiros Saryan's silent commentary of gestures. Biblical landscapes, the ruins of temples, frescos, cross-stones, contemporary sculptures of Chakmakchian, the first appearance on film of iconic modernist painter Minas and his paintings, as well as the world famous behind-the-scenes episodes of Sergei Parajanov at work on the landmark film "Sayat Nova". Banned in Soviet Union, the film placed Mikhail Vartanov on KGB's blacklist (1967 - 1990s) and though some of the footage reappeared in his poetic masterpiece Parajanov: The Last Spring (1992), an important part was stolen from the archives - only 1 frame recently surfaced.
Did You Know?
49 years after it was made, Criterion released Vartanov's The Color of Armenian Land in 2018 with Parajanov's restored Sayat Nova (The Color of Pomegranates). It was the first time ever that Vartanov's work became available on home video (this was preceded in 2012 by the film's first public screening in 43 years at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival's Parajanov/Vartanov retrospective). See more
Followed by Parajanov: The Last Spring