This controversial 1969 film directed by rebellious Russian filmmaker Sergei Paradzhanov ( Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) chronicles the life of the 18th-century poet Sayat Nova, but in a most unconventional way. Paradzhanov seeks to portray the poet by different actors at various stages of his long life, from a poor childhood working on farms through early celebration as a poet to his self-imposed isolation as a cloistered monk. The unorthodox stream-of-consciousness style of the film highlights character over plot, using the poet's own words as a springboard for sumptuous images that chart the course of his life from birth until death, from his youth and the great love of his life through his struggles with religion and philosophy and the despair of old age. The loose, evocative style not only brings to life the poetry of Sayat Nova's body of work, but also brings great weight to the poetry of his life. Challenging, defiant, and unconventional, The Color of Pomegranates is a must for those searching for new and different forms of filmmaking. --Robert Lane
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