Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original title: Ashug-Karibi
Soviet Union, 1988. Qartuli Pilmi. Screenplay by Gia Badridze, based on the story Ashik Kerib the Lovelorn Minstrel by Mikhail Lermontov. Cinematography by Albert Yavuryan. Music by Dzhavanshir Kuliyev. Production Design by Gogi Aleqsi-Meskhishvili, Shota Goglashvili, Sergei Parajanov, Niko Zandukeli. Costume Design by Eka Magalashvili.
Beautifully executed fable that marks the end of the fascinating career of Sergei Parajanov. It tells an age-old story of love and loss, a handsome but penniless minstrel rejected by the family of a beautiful girl who think him too low for their daughter. He sets out to make his fortune, wandering the earth and playing his songs, while back home the young woman does her best to remain true despite her father’s plans for her.
Of course this sounds familiar, but its execution is staged via gorgeous tableaux: the action is mainly told through Azerbaijani music, frequently without dialogue in setups reminiscent of silent movies. The effect is dreamy, lulling you into the feeling of magic produced by the beautiful soundtrack and terrific performances.
European Film Award: Special Aspect
Nomination: Best European Director (Sergei Parajanov)