Length / Feature: 78 minutes
Length / Special features: 36 minutes
2.0 Stereo LPCM (48k/24-bit)
Original aspect ratio: 1:85:1
Language: Russian, Armenian
Blu-Ray: BD50 / 1080p
Region ABC (Region Free)
Blu-Ray RRP: £19.99
Release Date: 27 September 2021
Second Run BD044
Maria Saakyan's elegiac, semi-autobiographical drama unfolds against the backdrop and legacy of the Caucasus wars of the early 1990s. Told with a dream-like intensity, a young woman returns to her home in a remote, war-ravaged Armenian village to persuade her grandparents to leave with her for safety in Moscow.
Beautifully photographed and composed, and set to a hypnotic soundtrack by Kimmo Pohjonen, this poetic and moving film is in the great visual tradition of Tarkovsky and Paradjanov. An outstanding directorial debut by an immensely talented filmmaker who died tragically young.
Presented from a new 2K restoration by the Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project, and approved by the film’s cinematographer Maksim Drozdov. The Blu-ray also includes Maria Saakyan’s acclaimed short film Farewell (Proshchanie), a visual essay on the film, trailers and an extended booklet featuring a 2009 interview with the director and essays by writer/curator So Mayer and film historian Vigen Galstyan.
• The Lighthouse (Mayak) presented from a new 2K restoration by the Hamo Bek-Nazarov Project, approved by the film’s cinematographer Maksim Drozdov.
• Maria Saakyan’s short film Farewell (Proshchanie, 2003).
• Surviving Memories: a visual essay on The Lighthouse by Alessandro Luchetti and Manuela Lazic.
• 28-page booklet featuring an interview with the director,
and essays by writer/curator So Mayer and film historian
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C).
• World premiere on Blu-ray.
Directed by Maria Saakyan
Screenplay - Givi Shavgulidze
Cinematography - Maksim Drozdov
Editors - Maria Saakyan, Alexei Nazarchuk
Sound - Philip Lamshin, Evgeny Kadimsky
Music - Kimmo Pohjonen, Oleg Mazny
Production Design - Ivana Krcádinac
Costumes - Mikael Vatinyan
Producer - Anton Melnik
Anna Kapaleva – Lena
Olga Yakovleva - Grandmother
Sos Sargsyan – Grandfather
Sofiko Chiaureli – Kasiana
Ruzana Avetisyan - Roza
Mikhail Bogdasarov - Levan
Anastasiya Grebennikova - Izolda
Winner: Grand Prix Award / Split Film Festival 2007
Winner: Golden Apricot Best Debut / Yerevan Film Festival 2007
“A breathtaking, expressionist chronicle... a consumately crafted vision of a world gone seriously awry [...] comparisons with the otherworldly dramas of Andrei Tarkovsky are inevitable. Saakyan's knack for constructing beautifully surreal compositions from mundane activities such as washing and singing is second to none, while the cavalcade of striking, austere imagery works in perfect unison with the throbbing soundtrack by Kimmo Pohjonen... this is a real lost treasure that's been unearthed with great dilligence and passion.”
David Jenkins, Time Out
“Saakyan's astonishing film captures an emigre's memories of her war-torn Georgian village with aching poetic grace - the imagery lingers like gunsmoke” Empire
“Saakyan's debut is a poetic reverie on memory and homeland, with a hypnotic combination of image and music”
Peter Hames, Sight & Sound - Films of the Year 2007
“An incendiary mix of war film, memoir and musical explosion, it was
hands-down the debut of the year, standout of the London Film Festival 2007”
S.F. Said, Sight & Sound
“A beautiful and lyrical painting” Kinopark
“Beautifully shot in muted colour tones (replete with some extraordinary mordant, misty time-lapse shots of the helicopter-gun-ship strewn landscape), this atemporal requiem, assuredly directed by Saakyan, is played out with a Kusturica-style heightened naturalism, stripped bare of his carnival-esque levity, and deepened by affecting poetic musings on familial and cultural loss”
Wally Hammond, Time Out London