Machaidze, Karumidze & Meskhi: When the Earth...

Skrevet den 17-12-2015 09:36:35 af Tue Steen Müller

Machaidze, Karumidze & Meskhi: When the Earth...

Some facts:

Full title: When the Earth Seems to be Light

Full names of directors: Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze & David Meskhi. A Georgian/ German coproduction. Produced by Goslab & Jörg Langkau. Co-Produced by Zaza Rusadze, Zazarfilm.

… and a review: Wow is a word I like to use, when I am surprised in a positive way. This film fascinated me totally. From start till end. You never know what comes next. It seems to be free of classical dramaturgical rules, maybe it is not, but it had so much power that I did not notice any. I went with the flow, literally, of the skating youngsters in Tbilisi (and Batumi), with the music that the skates make, with the music that accompanied their moving around, sometimes a requiem, sometimes rap music, sometimes real location sounds again and again, several of them disturbing, being from archive footage of demonstrations in the streets: Priests acting against a LGBT parade, if I got it right.

My old critic head made me think of Juris Podnieks ”Is it Easy to

be Young”, the perestroika film from 1986, when there was a USSR – and, stylistically, the cinéma vérité film par excellence, ”Cronique d’un été” (1961) by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin. As in this film there is a grown-up voice off image that asks the skaters/artists/musicians (they all have some creative side, apart from the skating, which absolutely can be considered an art form, in some case in the film even a burning installation) questions like, ”what is love”, ”what is freedom”, ”is there life after death”… they are reluctant to respond. To use a banality – they express themselves when they skate.

And indeed they do so around a Tbilisi that I saw very little of when I primarily were at Rustaveli Blv. and its close surroundings: devastated, forgotten monuments and buildings, appartment blocks that signal tough living conditions but also night life for youngsters like the protagonists – are they 6 or more?

The narrative style is wild. Shaky, nervous camera movements, quick editing, sometimes in a music video style, sometimes more cinematic with magnificently composed images, where there is a movement of the skaters without you seeing the skates. In amazing sequences like these the film invites the spectator to a visual trip of great beauty. And then cuts to ultra close-ups of faces of the young rebels… Well, are they rebels? Can they change something in Georgia? Do they want to? Or is it enough for them to find places where they can be for themselves, free of daily trivalities, politics and church?

”I love Soviet because nothing functioned”, the most articulate of them says, he is also the one who characterises Tbilisi as a magical city that always looks back, never forward.

The film received the main award at IDFA in the First Appearence Category.

Georgia, 2015, 78 mins.


Tilfřjet i kategorierne: Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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