A breathtaking fusion of poetry, ethnography, and cinema, Sergei Parajanov’s masterwork overflows with images and sounds that burn into the memory. 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 audio commentary featuring critic Tony Rayns
- New video essay on the film’s symbols and references, featuring scholar James Steffen
- New interview with James Steffen detailing the production of the film
- Sergei Parajanov: The Rebel, a 2003 documentary about the filmmaker, featuring him and actor Sofiko Chiaureli
- The Life of Sayat-Nova, a 1977 documentary about the Armenian poet who inspired The Color of Pomegranates
- An essay by film scholar Ian Christie