Sergei Parajanov

The Color of Pomegranates

The Color of Pomegranates

A breathtaking fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork overflows with unforgettable images and sounds. In a series of tableaux that blend the tactile with the abstract, The Color of Pomegranates revives the splendors of Armenian culture through the story of the eighteenth-century troubadour Sayat-Nova, charting his intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth through iconographic compositions rather than traditional narrative. The film’s tapestry of folklore and metaphor departed from the realism that dominated the Soviet cinema of its era, leading authorities to block its distribution, with rare underground screenings presenting it in a restructured form. This edition features the cut closest to Parajanov’s original vision, in a restoration that brings new life to one of cinema’s most enigmatic meditations on art and beauty.

The Color of Pomegranates was restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and the Cineteca di Bologna, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia, and funded by the Material World Charitable Foundation.

Film Info

  • Sergei Parajanov
  • Soviet Union
  • 1969
  • 78 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • Armenian, Georgian
  • Spine #918

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • The Color of Armenian Land, a rarely seen 1969 documentary by Mikhail Vartanov featuring footage of director Sergei Parajanov at work
  • New video essay on the film’s symbols and references, featuring scholar James Steffen
  • New interview with Steffen on the production of the film
  • Documentaries from 1977 and 2003 on Armenian poet Sayat-Nova and Parajanov
  • The Last Film, a 2015 experimental short documentary by Martiros M. Vartanov
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ian Christie
    New cover by Anthony Gerace

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • The Color of Armenian Land, a rarely seen 1969 documentary by Mikhail Vartanov featuring footage of director Sergei Parajanov at work
  • New video essay on the film’s symbols and references, featuring scholar James Steffen
  • New interview with Steffen on the production of the film
  • Documentaries from 1977 and 2003 on Armenian poet Sayat-Nova and Parajanov
  • The Last Film, a 2015 experimental short documentary by Martiros M. Vartanov
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Ian Christie
    New cover by Anthony Gerace
The Color of Pomegranates
Cast
Sofiko Chiaureli
The poet as a young man, the poet’s love, the nun in white lace, the angel of ascension, the mimes
Melkon Alekian
The poet as a child
Vilen Galustian
The poet as a monk
Georgi Gegechkori
The poet as an old man
Hovhannes Minasian
The prince
Spartak Baghashvili
The poet’s father
Medea Japaridze
The poet’s mother
Credits
Director
Sergei Parajanov
Director of photography
Suren Shahbazyan
Production design
Stepan Andranikyan
Set decoration
Mikael Arakelyan
Music
Tigran Mansurian
Film editing
Marfa Ponomarenko
First assistant director
Arshavir Samvelyan
Second assistant director
Romen Zhamharyan
Sound operator
Yuri Sayadyan
Camera operator
Martun Shahbazyan
Costume design
Elena Akhvlediani
Costume design
Iosif Karalyan
Costume design
Jasmine Sarabyan
Makeup
Poghos Aschyan
Makeup
Vladimir Asatryan
Visual effects
L. Karamyan
Visual effects
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan
Choreographer
Sergei Parajanov
Architectural consultant
Victor Jorbenadze
Jewelry designer
A. Asaturov
Production manager
Alexander Melik-Sargsyan

From The Current

The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound
The Color of Pomegranates: Parajanov Unbound

Soviet filmmaker Sergei Parajanov explored his Transcaucasian roots in this visually spectacular and wonderfully strange ode to the Armenian poet Sayat-Nova.


By Ian Christie

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10 Things I Learned: The Color of Pomegranates
10 Things I Learned: The Color of Pomegranates

Did you know director Sergei Parajanov also created many of the costumes for this visually spectacular masterpiece? Producer Curtis Tsui digs into this and other fascinating facts about the making of the long-hard-to-see film.

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A Feast for the Eyes in Los Angeles

Sergei Parajanov’s mesmerizing take on the life of poet Sayat-Nova plays in a free screening in Los Angeles this week.

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