Georgian Cinema: Dreaming at the Crossroads
Screening Dates
  • September 21, 2023 7:00
New Restoration

Unlike any film made in Georgia before or after, with a style radically different from other Georgian silents, My Grandmother is an exhilarating and irreverent satire on Soviet bureaucracy gone mad. Director Mikaberidze’s stated aim was to liberate film from the influence of theatre and literature; the contributions of avant-garde set designer Irakli Gamrekeli are key. A lazy, incompetent paper-pusher—apparently modelled after Harold Lloyd’s comedy persona—is fired and desperately searches for a grandmother” (an upper-rung benefactor) to help him get his job back. The film unites modernist trends such as German expressionism, the French avant-garde, and Russian constructivism with stunts and slapstick. Although by no means anti-Soviet in its ideology—the only positive role models, indeed the only characters treated realistically, are an upright worker and a Komsomol member—the film was banned for over thirty-five years. We’re screening the definitive restoration, with live keyboard accompaniment by Vancouver jazz musician and film composer Chris Gestrin.

Silent. Georgian intertitles with English subtitles

Even for viewers with no interest in the history and politics of the film, My Grandmother is a wonderful example of eccentrism and a catalog of the avant-garde’s film techniques during Soviet cinema’s golden age.” Denise J. Youngblood, The Moving Image

preceded by

Life in Three Voices
USA 2020
Marina Kaganova
38 min. DCP

Georgia’s beautiful polyphonic folk songs and chants inspire deep devotion among performers. This intimate documentary follows the young male group Ensemble Adilei as they tour the US with the Chamgeliani Sisters from Svaneti. A film about discovery, community, and friendship.

In English and Georgian with English subtitles

My Grandmother will include a video introduction by critic and archivist Nino Dzandzava

Opening night sponsor
Siradze Selections is a one-woman-show wine import agency specializing in Georgian wines. It focuses on natural, organic, and biodynamic wines made from the indigenous grapes of Georgia’s 8,000-year-old unbroken wine history.

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