Not everyone can read my writing, it is of a different script.
Do not think my substance sand: it is a crag of solid rock.
As like a torrent that never dries, do not try to wear it down!
Among Stalin's notable attributes, apart from the logistics of making 30,000 disappear over twenty years, was his advanced taste in cinema. He liked montages of grinning peasants swinging scythes and walking rhythmically forward before threshing machines, and this was what the USSR now needed, its policy architects concluded, not avant-garde Constructivist weirdness. Experimentation was decadent, dangerous, and no longer an acceptable form of self-expression. Artistic "elitism" was discouraged. All films would promote Socialist Realism (not to be confused with Social Realism) and celebrate the worker's state. The change was compounded by the introduction of sound, which upended the Soviet movie industry. It has been argued that sound was the start of American cultural hegemony, an invention meant to control the direction of the international marketplace under the guise of innovation. Essentially, if foreign markets wanted access to imports, they would have to meet U.S. technical standards for film production and projection. For some, this was a cost-prohibitive transition, and it impacted Soviet exports horribly. The revolutionary momentum slipped away, replaced by intransigence and paranoia. Soviet film would not fully recover until after Stalin's death, when the reigns on creativity were loosened by Khrushchev during the "Great Thaw" period.
In 1956, Khrushchev threw Stalin's legacy under the bus and exposed his crimes to the world. It was a historic moment for Russian artists and ushered in an era of renewed artistic liberty that, sadly, would not last long. Nevertheless, while the window presented itself, several legendary filmmakers emerged. Key among them was Sergei Parajanov, whose Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, released in 1965, was shockingly provincial for its use of Ukrainian dialects and regional customs completely alien to many urban Muscovites. It was a big international hit both at home and abroad and allowed Parajanov the freedom for a larger budget for his next film, shot in 1966 and intended to be a biographical movie about the life of famed 16th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, who wrote in multiple languages (Armenian, Georgian, and Azerbaijani) and was viewed by the Soviet authorities as a classic role model for the bringing together of different cultures.
Although they had approved the script with some reservations, the Soviets were still expecting a relatively linear narrative along the same lines of his earlier work. What they got was unlike anything ever created before in the history of cinema, a montage of meticulously staged and choreographed shots, entirely lacking in traditional narrative. In essence, a "film poem" whose fractured construction and odd pacing attempted to reflect the aesthetic of its subject. Even more strange and disorienting, the great Georgian actress Sofiko Chiaureli played no less than five parts in the film, handling both male and female roles. Aghast and confused at what they expected to be a biopic, the studio cut the film various ways to try and make it more decipherable to audiences, with little success. They thought the title The Color of Pomegranates less confusing than Sayat-Nova, which it really wasn't. They tried changing the structure, which made it worse. International audiences did not know what to do with it since the scenes themselves were allusions to aspects of Sayat-Nova's work with which they generally had no familiarity. One suspects that this confusion was fine with Parajanov, who shared Andrei Tarkovsky's spiritual sense of magic and wonder, unafraid of slowness and atmospheres of melancholic contemplation. He would later be jailed for refusing to stay in line with state policies, and only under pressure from international directors did the Soviets release him. Staying loyal to his Georgian cultural heritage, he continued making films until his death in 1990.