Sergei Parajanov & Dodo Abashidze – Ashug-Karibi aka The Hoary Legends of the Caucasus (1988)


Synopsis: Wandering minstrel Ashik Kerib falls in love with a rich merchant’s daughter, but is spurned by her father and forced to roam the world for a thousand and one nights – but not before he’s got the daughter to promise not to marry till his return. It’s told in typical Paradjanov style overlaid with Armenian folksongs. source

Based on Mikhail Lermontov’s retelling of a Turkic folktale, Ashik Kerib is the story of a troubadour obliged to spend 1,001 days wandering the land, in order to make enough money to marry his beloved. The hero is played by Yuri Mgoyan, a picturesque 22-year-old Kurdish “hooligan” and car thief recruited by Paradjanov for his “plasticity”. (In one behind-the-scenes clip, Paradjanov demonstrates this plastic quality by wrapping a blanket around the young man’s head and declaring: “A complete metamorphosis! He’s a pharaoh!”) These last two films somehow manage to seem at once naive and sophisticated, with the hyper-realism of a puppet show. Mastiffs rest their great weary heads on their paws, as evil henchmen force a slave to toss pomegranates for them to impale on their sabers. A gigantic flock of running sheep, filmed from overhead, shifts into strange formations. Endless rites and rituals unfold to unheard-of music.

Ashik Kerib is the only one of Paradzhanov’s films to have a happy ending. The lovers are reunited and a white dove alights on a movie camera, representing Tarkovsky, to whose memory the film was dedicated.

Mikhail Lermontov

Sergei Paradjanov

The Minstrel’s Song (Mugam)

1.44 GiB | 1 h 13 min | 716×540 | mkv

Language(s):Georgian, Azerbaijani
Subtitles:English, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew.

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