Sergei Parajanov, Soviet Union, 1968, 79 min.
The Color of Pomegranates states right at up front that it is not going to make sense. The text at the beginning says that what we will see on the screen are images from a poet’s mind, and that this was in no way going to show what actually happened, but how he perceived the events around him.
The film then treats you to a series of vignettes that chronicle the main character’s life from a small child until death. There is no narrative to hold it together, but the film creates a mood around the images, the music, and the poetic chanting.
It’s a film steeped in religious and cultural symbolism, and a film that truly is a monument to the culture of which it was made. Unfortunately, being that the culture and folklore are completely unknown to me, a stupid American, it was hard to connect in a meaningful way with what was on the screen.
Still, the craft involved with making this film is undeniable. Being an political auteur in the Soviet Union during that time must not have been easy. Parajanov’s vision is unique and The Color of Pomegranates is a singular film that only he could have made.