The Colour of Pomegranates

Sayat Nova / Nran Guyne

The film that Martin Scorsese compared to ‘opening a door and walking into another dimension, where time has stopped and beauty has been unleashed’.

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  • Director Sergei Parajanov
  • Producer Sergei Parajanov
  • Screenwriter Sergei Parajanov
  • With Sofiko Chiaureli, Melfkon Alekian, Vilen Galustian
  • Armenia 1969
  • 77 mins
  • Sales The Film Foundation – World Cinema Project

Following the international success of Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors (1964), Sergei Parajanov was commissioned by Armenfilm Studios in Yerevan to make a film about the life of the 18th-century Armenian ashugh, Sayat Nova. Eschewing the conventional biopic, Parajanov chose the cinematic visualisation of Sayat Nova’s poetry, mixing ethnic rituals with surrealistic happenings. Deemed inaccessible by Soviet authorities, it was re-cut and given a nominal release under the title The Colour of Pomegranates. This 4K restored version presents the original Armenian cut, complete with Parajanov’s preferred stream of consciousness narrative. The apotheosis of the poetic tradition in Soviet cinema kick-started by Dovzhenko, Sayat Nova still exerts a strong influence on contemporary art house cinema.

Daniel Bird

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovato and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia. Restoration funding provided by the Material World Charitable Foundation and The Film Foundation.

The screening on Friday 10 October will be Digital 4K. The screening on Sunday 12 October will be Digital 2K.