If The Colour of Pomegranates were a building, it would be a world heritage site. Parajanov’s masterpiece stands as a monument of ‘poetic cinema’, an edifice composed of tableaux in the vein of Persian and Armenian miniatures.  Its images are finely balanced between the sacred and the profane, between exquisite spirituality and gleeful vulgarity. The tableaux present episodes, recalled or imagined, from the life of the 18th-century Armenian poet-troubadour Sayat Nova but (as the opening caption insists) the film not a conventional bio-pic. The film is also a paean to Armenia’s history and culture.  Tony Rayns


Restored in 2014 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia. Restoration funding provided by the Material World Charitable Foundation and The Film Foundation.

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