Archive of films Colour of Pomegranates / Sajat nova / Cvet granata

1968, 68 min

Section: Tribute to Sergei Paradjanov
Year: 2004

A classic work, banned for many years by Soviet censors, relating the life of an 18th century Armenian poet. In place of a story in the usual sense of the word, the film draws on the pattern of Persian miniatures and Christian icons to offer a sequence of flat, static tableaux of dazzling beauty.


In its concept, Colour of Pomegranates resembled nothing that had been filmed before in the countries of the Soviet Union. This film about the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova broke radically with the tradition of biographical films. Static, flat images, drawing on the examples of Persian miniatures and Christian icons, develop the poet’s life from birth to his death in a monastery. The film is divided into eight chapters. In the introduction we see the poet in the role of a boy surrounded by numerous books and manuscripts, their pages turned by the wind. The poet enters the courtyard and meets the muse of poetry who becomes his lover. As a monk in a church decorated with frescoes, the poet begs his muse for absolution. We then see the poet with a family, and finally a vision of his death. The ending relates to the murder of the poet by Persian conquerors in front of Tbilisi Cathedral in 1795. In official circles Colour of Pomegranates evoked considerable displeasure. The prominent director Sergei Yutkevich made some changes “in the interests of greater comprehensibility,” but neither version ever made it into Soviet distribution. In subsequent years Sergei Paradjanov was repeatedly imprisoned, and was not allowed to make any films for seventeen years.

About the director

See Tribute to Sergei Paradjanov 


National Film Archive
Malešická 12, 130 00, Praha 3
Czech Republic

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Sergei Paradjanov
Director: Sergei Paradjanov
Screenplay: Sergej Paradžanov
Dir. of Photography: Suren Šachbazjan/Suren Shakhbazyan
Music: Tigran Mansurjan/Tigran Mansuryan
Editor: Sergej Paradžanov, M. Ponomarenko
Cast: Sofiko Čiaureli/Sofiko Chiaureli, Vilen Galsťan/Vilen Galstyan, Giorgij Gegečkori/Giorgi Gegechkori, Omk Minasjan/Omk Minasyan
Contact: National Film Archive


Vladimír Opěla

Film Institution Rep.

Milan Klepikov

Film Institution Rep., Journalist


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