Based on the works of 1700’s poet Sayat Nova, and in fact Sayat Nova was the film’s original title before the censors changed it.
Doesn’t look or play very similar to Parajanov’s also-amazing Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors.
My screenshots are all from the first six minutes. After that the laptop wouldn’t read the disc so I watched the rest on TV. EDIT: nope, all screenshots now replaced with 2018 versions.
Divided into sections, with the poet at different stages of his life. Little spoken dialogue.
In the middle section, both Sayat Nova and his girl are played by the same actress:
Just a first viewing. Will watch again (and hopefully again).
2018 UPDATE: This finally came out in a beautiful HD restoration, so now’s the time. I’d forgotten just how completely non-narrative this is. There are scenes from the poet’s life, but you wouldn’t know it without further research. Instead of a story, we get dioramas in front of an unmoving camera. The blu-ray includes a text commentary, since he wants to discuss the audio without obscuring it. He has access to the script and outtakes, so discusses what’s actually happening, in addition to the symbolism and shooting locations and historical context. It’s very helpful to know what’s going on, but I don’t feel like understanding the story makes me love the movie more.