Komitas

Film

Time Out says

Askarian's film attempts to find a cinematic correlative for the suffering and madness of Soghomon Soghomonian ('Komitas'), a great Armenian musician who spent his last 20 years in mental institutions, traumatised by the 1915 genocide of two million of his people. Presented in a series of eight or so sections, it has the mind-opening intensity of Tarkovsky's spiritual odysseys, the visual beauty of Paradjanov's celebrations of ethnic cultures, and an almost surreal, miraculous poetry that is Askarian's own. The images have the visionary logic of the maddened imagination: faded paintings on a ruined church wall crumble in the rain to reveal jugs foaming with colour; jam-jars are smashed, their contents left to bleed down; strange music echoes from rain drumming on a graveyard of musical instruments; a woman breast-feeds a lamb; Komitas lies on a bed of flames. The pace is leisurely, and the camera moves gently or not at all; time - too much, perhaps - is given to mediate on what is shown. At one point, Komitas says art is worthless, that only nature and light matter. This film affirms that they all matter.

By: WH

Details

Release details

Duration:
96 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Don Askarian
Cast:
Samuel Ovasapian
Onig Saadetian
Margarita Woskanjan
Yegishe Mangikian
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