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.
New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
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
ACTORS: Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Alekyan, Vilen Galstyan, Gogi Gegechkori, Spartak Bagashvili, Medea Japaridze, Hovhannes Minasyan, Onik Minasyan
DIRECTOR: Sergei Parajanov
RUN TIME: 78 minutes
ASPECT RATIO: 1.37:1
LANGUAGE: Armenian, Georgian