It is a biography of Sayat-Nova (King of Song) that attempts to show his life visually and poetically rather than literally. The film has little dialogue but an abundance of music and poetry, and divides Sayat Nova's life into thematic chapters: Childhood, Youth, Prince's Court, The Monastery, The Dream, Old Age, The Angel of Death and Death. There are sounds and music and occasional singing but dialogue is rare.
Lady Gaga’s music video for “911” was heavily influenced by the film and references its imagery.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: There are several. Actress Sofiko Chiaureli portray's Sayat Nova's muse and later the Angel of Resurrection, and the Angel of Death makes an appearance at the end.
- Biopic: The film is a loose, symbolic biography of Sayat Nova.
- Crosscast Role: Some of Sofiko Chiaureli's roles are of male characters.
- Grim Reaper: The Angel of Death leads Sayat away at the end of the film after his death.
- Makes As Much Sense In Context: Most critics have agreed that even those with some knowledge of Sayat Nova's life, poetry, and Armenian culture will have a hard time deciphering its symbolism. It's a film that you kind of have to experience rather than understand.
- Mind Screw: The film is strictly symbolic in nature. Luckily a few short documentaries have been made for the purpose of explaining the film, and are included on DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
- Random Events Plot: The film doesn't really have a plot in the conventional sense.
- Rule of Symbolism: The film relies heavily on it.