Georgia

Lana Gogoberidze – Me vkhedav mzes AKA I See the Sun (1965)

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Action takes place in Georgia during world war two. Zurikela, orphan boy. Meets Khatia, blind girl, who wants to return eye-sight. Zurikela decides to help her. They know, that if blind sees the sunlight, her sight can be recovered. They both face obstacles and poverty, because of war. At one point Zurikela thinks to leave Khatia and have his own life. However, conscience doesn’t allow him to do it. Read More »

Merab Kokochashvili – Didi mtsvane veli AKA Big Green Valley (1967)

Sosana is a shepherd and lives the livelong days with his herd. He decides to bring his family to the field and teach his son how to take care of the herd. Unexpectedly, a group of geologists discover the oilfield in the pasture, meaning that there would be oil wells set up right there were Sosana’s herd was. the collective farm demands that Sosana hand over his herd to the farm. sosana’s private life is also in disarray. His wife leaves. The shepherd cannot come to terms with the changes. He wants to live the way his ancestors did and wishes to be buried by their side. with no family and with no herd Sosana is wandering in the snowy field in quest of the lost herd. Read More »

Aleqsandre Rekhviashvili – Gza shinisaken AKA The Way Home (1981)

The film is set in southern Georgia, which until the end of XIX century was dominated by
the Ottoman Empire. Tragic times gave rise to people of high spiritual strength, such as
Antimoz Iverieli – the philosopher-educator. Having experienced as a child cruelty and
injustice, it becomes the path of public service. Having been removed by the Turks in
Romania, a hero by all means wants to return home. Sentenced to death, Antimoz
remains in the memory of his countrymen a champion of justice. Read More »

Mariam Khatchvani – Dede (2017)

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Based on true events that took place at the outset of the Georgian Civil War, Dede takes place in the high mountainous community of Svaneti, where there live a people far removed from the modern world. A purely patriarchal society that revolves around forced marriages, pride and tradition dictate the code of daily life. Dina is a young woman promised by her draconian grandfather to David, one of the soldiers returning from the war. Once a marriage arrangement is brokered by two families, failure to follow through on the commitment is unthinkable. Read More »

Nikoloz Sanishvili – Chermeni AKA Chermen (1970)

The film’s main hero is Chermen. An illegitimate son, Chermen is striving to assert his dignity. He is opposed by Dacco, the elder of the Aldar clan, in whose village Chermen lives. Guided by mercenary motives, Dacco strikes a deal with Prince Tsarai. Together, they rob people and then divide the loot between themselves.
By some chance, Chermen learns of the deal and informs his friends about it. At first, he thinks that no one in the Aldar village would believe him, the bastard, and that the plot would remain unexposed. But the friends accept the challenge. Read More »

Sergei Parajanov – Pervyy paren aka The First Lad (1959)

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A gem from Paradjanov’s early oeuvre is a musical agitation film or a romantic comedy, made by the young director under the guidance of Alexander Dovzhenko and set in the immense fields of the collectivised Ukraine. The social realism is replaced by colourful, convivial and dancing shots of the “Pabieda” (Victory) kolkhoz, where peasant women sing in the fields, and boys march with banners glorifying revolution. Against this backdrop, intense romantic feelings have reached a climactic stage; tailor Sidor Sidorovich, farmer Jushka and soldier Danila Petrovich all dote on the fair-haired Odarka. It is Jushka and Danila who engage in overt hostility; the initial “gentlemen’s” contest turns into an outright confrontation, resulting in miserable Jushka being increasingly more desperate and scorned by the villagers. Read More »

Tengiz Abuladze – Vedreba AKA The Plea (1967)

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comment from imdb

A masterpiece that demands detailed study

It’s like Bergman and Kurosawa went to Georgia and decided to do Shakespeare together in the mountains. I’ve seen this film several times and there’s much I still haven’t grasped. It’s not an intellectual problem, but a cultural one…VEDREBA seems so deeply embedded in Georgian history that it’s nearly impossible for an outsider to find a way in.

The film is based entirely on the poetry of Vazha Pshavela, and I believe every line of “dialogue” is lifted directly from his poems. From what I can gather, the “story” concerns a soldier who, after feeling guilty about killing an enemy, becomes an outcast from whatever group he belongs to, then has visitations from both God and the devil who give him visions of the future (or perhaps one possible future). A full understanding of the film would seem to require knowledge of all the different groups of people living in the mountains of ancient Georgia, as well as a basic grasp of several various rituals. For instance, I have no idea what the significance of the main character beheading another man’s bull was, nor do I understand why, when said bull-owner calls for the lead to be killed, several other people began extinguishing candles in bowls of sheep’s blood.
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