Die Farbe des Granatapfels - Sayat Nova

Picture of

An absorbing portrait of the 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova which is brimming with metaphors and dreams. Parajanov created a melting pot based on the Armenian and Georgian cultural traditions with their rich religious symbolism and the expressive powers of cinema, the modernist folk art of the 20th century. This classic by Parajanov is not a dramatised portrait of the poet Arutyun Sayadyan, better known as Sayat-Nova (the ‘King of Songs’), but an associative portrait full of metaphors and dreams, arabesques and still lifes. It is a film designed like an oriental tapestry: quirky and unpredictable in line and colour, but at the same time expressive of great aesthetic harmony. The Color of Pomegranates is also a statement about the Messianic role of the artist, in this case the filmmaker Parajanov, who regarded this film as his finest.



Original Title
Die Farbe des Granatapfels - Sayat Nova
Die Farbe des Granatapfels - Sayat Nova
Directed by
Sergej Paradschanow
Sergei Parajanov - Paradschanow
Film Editing
Maria Ponomarenko
Tigran Mansurian
Suren Shakhbazian
Yuri Sayadyan
Blu-ray, DCP
79 min.

Pro Material

artwork artwork artwork artwork

Would you like to show this movie?

Please fill out our form.

Date(s) of screening Screening(s)

Press voices

«And what about the fate of the picture now? Armenia showed this film, sent people to see it. I wouldn’t say that the people understand the picture, but they go as if to a celebration. [...] Every layer of society is going – they sense their genes in the picture. It wasn’t the subject, it wasn’t the established canons of the fate of the poet – conflict with the tsar, conflict at court, the banishing of the poet from the palace, wordly life, the monastery – these were not the point of my scenario, but the colors, the accessories, the details, of the daily life that accompanied the poetry. Here I was trying to portray the art in life, rather than portray life in art. The other way around, so that art is reflected in life. [...] The picture is very primitive in its structure: there was childhood, there was youth, there was love, there was the monastery, there were the stones. The beloved was a stone, the cell was the beloved, the beloved, her breast is glorified in verse, the rose is glorified in verse. Then there was the thought: my throat is dry, I am ill. The poet dies. Everything is so simple, clear, as in the fate of a great poet, an ashugh, a minstrel.»

Sergei Parajanov/Paradschanow

«Watching Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates, or Sayat Nova, is like opening a door and walking into another dimension, where time has stopped and beauty has been unleashed. On a very basic level, it’s a biography of the Armenian poet Sayat Nova, but before all else it’s a cinematic experience, and you come away remembering images, repeated expressive movements, costumes, objects, compositions, colors. Sayat Nova lived in the 18th century, but the look and movement of the film seem to have come out of the middle ages or an even earlier time: Parajanov’s cinematic tableaux feel like they’ve been carved in wood or stone, and the colors seem to have naturally materialized from the images over hundreds of years. There’s nothing else quite like this picture. For many years, it’s been a dream to see The Color of Pomegranates restored to the form originally intended by Parajanov. This restoration represents years of painstaking work by many people. As always, I would like to thank our colleagues and partners at the Cineteca di Bologna and L’Immagine Ritrovata as well as all the individuals and organizations who have supported this challenging project and dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy to preserve Parajanov’s oeuvre.» Martin Scorsese

«Die Farbe des Grantapfels' von Paradschanow ist nach meiner Auffassung einer der besten zeitgenössischen Filme, der mit Perfektion und Schönheit beeindruckt.»

Michelangelo Antonioni

«Das kühnste, seltsamste, erstaunlichste Ding, das – neben Tarkowskis „Der Spiegel“ – in jenen Jahren in der Sowjet Union entstanden ist.» Der Spiegel

«Der Film von Sergej Paradshanow ist ein Film der Superlative. 1969 in Armenien gedreht, ist er einer der schönsten und künstlerisch entschiedensten Filme, die in der Sowjetunion entstanden sind. Und er ist, fünfzehn Jahre später, für unsere westliche Postmoderne ein einsames und nicht annähernd erreichtes Beispiel dafür, wie man mit Bildern und Geräuschen etwas zeigen kann, ohne dem Zwang der fortlaufenden Erzählung zu verfallen. Ernsthaft und spielerisch zugleich - das heißt lustvoll und mit subtilem Vergnügen - läßt Paradshanow die Welt des armenischen Dichters Aruthin Sayadin entstehen: ein gegenwärtiges 18. Jahrhundert, in rätselhaften, poetischen, modern-surrealistischen, liebevoll-ironischen Bildern: Ikone, freundschaftlich belebt von einem Zeitgenossen der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts.» Dietrich Kuhlbrodt