Georgian Cinema: Dreaming at the Crossroads
Screening Dates
  • September 24, 2023 8:15
  • September 25, 2023 6:00
New Restorations

A visual symphony in black and white [and] an incantation of the mountain balladry of the Caucasus … [Even] Parajanov himself may have been influenced by the rhythm and imagery of Abuladze’s film.”

Dina Iordanova, LOLA Journal

Tengiz Abuladze is undoubtedly one of Georgia’s greatest directors. He is remembered in Russia as well as Georgia for his anti-Stalin satire Repentance (1987), part of a loose trilogy that also includes The Plea. Set in the early 20th century, The Pleas ruminative narration is taken from epic poems by Vazha-Pshavela—in place of exchanges of dialogue, the characters soliloquize their thoughts. This elliptical semi-allegory pits ancient codes of hospitality and revenge against each other, evoking themes of betrayal, (in)justice, ritualized intercommunal violence, Christian faith, and the nature of evil. In the mountains of Khevsureti and Kakheti, a warrior defies tribal law by not cutting off the hand of his slain Muslim enemy and is eventually cast out by the elders. The orchestral score is by classical composer Nodar Gabunia. A masterpiece and one of the most strikingly original and beautiful films ever made” (Brian Baxter, London Film Festival).

In Georgian with English subtitles

preceded by

The First Foot
USSR 1981
Goderdzi Chokheli
15 min. DCP

Chokheli was a novelist and short-story writer as well as director. This early short overlays New Year’s Days past and present in one village in the Caucasus. Mekvle (“first-foot”) is the Georgian name for the first guest to enter the house in the new year. It is believed that the upcoming year will be similar to the fortune, joy, and luck that mekvle brings.

In Georgian with English subtitles