The protagonist Ashik Kerib is denied his true love when his lover’s father rejects him due to his humble proletarian background. Due to his failure in love, Kerib is forced to roam the land aimlessly for 1,001 nights. After this happens, I got lost in the aesthetic devices employed by the unconventional director. Paradjanov uses images of early Russian artwork and strategically choreographed scenes to capture a mystical world of captivating art.
Sergei Paradjanov seems to be influenced by the surrealist works of Federico Fellini. Parajanov also claimed to be inspired by the works of Pier Paolo Pasolini and fellow soviet Andrei Tarkovsky. All of these influences are apparent as Parajdanov was a director that focused on visual expressionism as opposed to story and dialogue driven plots. Few directors (especially after the silent era) have had the courage to emphasize film as a strictly visual art (at least in an artistic way).
Director Sergei Paradjanov decided to end Ashik Kerib with a tribute to the memory of master director Andrei Tarkovsky and his cinematic legacy. Paradjanov experienced a variety of film production setbacks before directing Ashik Kerib. In 1973, the director was arrested on rape, homosexuality, and bribery charges. Ashik Kerib was the last finished film from the controversial director (his final film The Confession went unfinished).
Gay subversives have always made some of the best and most innovative film directors. F.W. Murnau, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Kenneth Anger, John Waters, and Sergei Paradjanov are just a few homosexual directors to spark collective outcry and public hatred. Gay has recently been mainstreamed with films like Brokeback Mountain, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and Boy’s Don’t Cry (transgendered people are gay too despite what some wiseass cultural Marxist has to say about it). May Sergei Paradjanov’s cinematic legacy be better documented in the books of cinema history.