10-02-2014

FNE at Berlinale 2014 : Panorama : Brides

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FNE at Berlinale 2014 : Panorama : Brides Brides by Tinatin Kajrishvili

BERLIN: As Georgian film continues its return to the international scene there seems to be no shortage of young, talented Georgian directors emerging from this small country. The latest new talent from Tbilisi is director Tinatin Kajrishvili who arrives in Berlin with her debut feature, Brides, which screens in Panorama.

Kajrishvili brings us a very real story set in contemporary Georgia about a young woman struggling to raise her family while her husband is in prison. While the film is dark it’s not depressive as it is also a story to a woman’s strength in facing her difficult life.

As the film begins Nutsa played by Mari Kitia is marrying the father of her children, Goga, who is serving a 10 year sentence in prison. She is there with a number of other women who have lined up to marry their imprisoned partners because they have been told that wives will have the right to visit their husbands once a month. There is only a brief ceremony and no celebration.

We don’t know why Goga played by Giorgi Maskharashvili is in prison and one suspects that after years behind bars the why becomes much less important than the daily struggle to live with the situation. Nutsa who works as a seamstress makes her monthly visits to Goga in his distant prison which require a long tiring, drive and endless waiting outside in the cold. But her two small children not surprisingly don’t want to accompany her on these awkward visits and their father becomes a stranger to them.

This grueling routine seems endless until Nutsa meets a handsome young man played by Giorgi Makharadze and begins a flirtation with him which gives her life some release from its dreary routine. Everything seems like it will drag on for years when suddenly the brides are notified that they will be allowed to spend the night visiting their imprisoned husbands in small cottages inside the prison. The emotional estrangement that has built up during the years apart and the awkwardness that this intimacy creates for Nutsa and Goga when they find themselves alone in the cottage is a powerful and authentic bit of filmmaking.

Kajrishvili based the script on the real-life experiences of herself and her husband, David Chubinishvili, who was imprisoned and who worked on the script with her. No wonder the experiences and situations in the film ring true. Another asset of this small production is Mari Kitia who turns in a sympathetic and engaging performance.

Perhaps the financial gurus that are running the emotionally bankrupt Hollywood system that seems to have lost the ability to make real films that involve the viewer and touch the soul should take the next plane to Tbilisi.   Something is definitely happening there and it doesn’t depend on 3D or special effects.

Georgia, France
Director: Tinatin Kajrishvili
Cast: Mari Kitia, Giorgi Maskharshvili
Produced by Ad Astra Films www.adastra-films.com, Gemini, Millimeter Film/Tbilisi
Supported by Georgian National Film Center www.gnfc.ge 
Sales: Rezo Films