Georgian Cinema: Dreaming at the Crossroads
Screening Dates
  • September 18, 2023 7:00
  • September 23, 2023 2:00

Great films often feel like a secret you’ve been told, and that’s how it is with Alexandre Koberidze’s [film], a gorgeous modern fairy tale about ill-starred love, mysticism, soccer, and street dogs … Perhaps the most bewitching love letter to a hometown that I’ve ever seen.”

Jessica Kiang, The New York Times

Even if you feel you got Koberidze’s breakthrough film on first viewing, maybe give it another look. In Sight and Sound, VIFF’s own Tom Charity calls it a masterpiece of Georgian movie magic” and cites similarities with Bresson, Eugène Green’s contemporary fairy tales, city symphonies People on Sunday and In the City of Sylvia, and the sensuality and lustre” of Dorsky and Brakhage. And that’s just for starters. A wry, offbeat fairy tale about tricks of vision, chance encounters, and the transformative properties of the camera’s eye, the film portrays the ancient city of Kutaisi as a sentient, watchful place of hidden wonders and perils, as a pharmacist and footballer are left lovelorn after their first encounter when a spell makes them unable to recognize one another again … Koberidze is one of several directors today drawing on Georgia’s rich legacy of cinema … while often challenging the nation’s deep-rooted patriarchal traditions and opening up space for the imagination through innovative visual poetry” (Carmen Gray, BFI).

In Georgian with English subtitles

Followed by a Zoom Q&A with Alexandre Koberidze moderated by Tom Charity (September 18 only)


Tom Charity is the year-round programmer at the VIFF Centre and a freelance film critic. His books include John Cassavetes: Lifeworks and The Right Stuff (BFI Modern Classics).