The main story itself is a powerful one, and centers around two settlements who are steeped in an age-long enmity against each other. The ‘main character’ is a fearsome fighter for one side, who, after a long fight against his adversary from the other, refuses to cut off the dying man’s hands as a sign of respect for the opponent. The main character then is no longer welcome in either settlement – his own people despise him for what they see as weakness and lack of understanding of the suffering the other side has caused them. The others hate him for the numerous fighters of theirs that he has killed and families he left orphaned. —IMDb
Best known internationally for his allegorical, politically charged film Repentance (1987), Georgian filmmaker and screenwriter Tenghiz Abuladze specialized in carefully crafted films that focused on relationships between people, without moral judgment or sociopolitical analysis.
Abuladze was born in Kutaisi, Georgia, back when the country was a state of the Soviet Union. In the 1940s, he studied at the Shota Rustaveli Theatrical Institute and after graduation decided to study film at the Moscow Film Institute with his close friend Revaz Chkheidze. The two studied under Sergei Yutkevich and Mikhail Romm. Abuladze and Chkheidze graduated in 1952. Their diploma film was a biography of Georgian composer Dimitry Arakishvili. As with his subsequent solo work, Abuladze’s first professional feature, made in collaboration with Chkheidze, centered on Georgian life. A simple tale of a group of children who adopt a charcoal merchant’s lost jackass and then go to court when he wants it back… read more
This movie is like a visual music in which the words are the tone... Beautiful, amazing and mind-boggling...
What I find most fascinating about the film is the way Abuladze shoots landscapes. Many sequences shot with long telephoto lenses gives the image a two-dimensional, scroll painting like quality. A brilliant piece of cinematographic design, and offers very interesting visual comparisons to Paradzhanov's work.