Pleased to see this Georgian film get a run on MUBI, having only vaguely recalled it from Cousin's 'Story of Film'. The first film from the Soviet Union ( to attack the Stalinist purges. While the script sometimes relies too strongly on symbolism, there are many heartbreaking moments, esp. the scene in which a mother and daughter look for their lost father's name among titles written on fallen trees from a gulag.
Well it is because of this kind of film I'm an avid cinephile so that I can see something strange, banned, obscure and foreign from a country I have no insight and where people in power want to ban the film due to it's political content or because of it's imagery. This excellent comment on dictators and especially one certain former Soviet one is fascinating from beginning to end with great moments of black humor.
It is rare for a surreal, feverish dream to reach so precisely and deep down into reality - to expose its true identity, to reveal its madness... The film has a subtle theatrical quality to it - the camerawork, light, the indoor scenes. Fantastic wry, dark humour. Excellent cast and acting, interesting use of classical music. True masterpiece, and what a way for Georgia to face its Stalinist past!
Presenta la excentricidad del poder de una forma honesta, endilgada a un lider de algún punto de la U.R.S.S, que delata a cualquiera lider de cualquier momento histórico. Logras pasar de una risa incontenible al estar al borde del llanto, entre oniríca y realista, entre cómica y dramática, muchas escenas se marcan. Llegas a detestar al al alcalde, llegas empatizar con la hija huérfana... Tengiz Abuladze lo logra todo
Surrealist allegorical representation of the Soviet Russia. The scene with the persecutor playing the piano with Lady Justice sitting beside him is a vivid example. Other strong posits include the way the new order fears any glorification of the past, resorting to demonisation and eventual destruction of the old, and how the denial of the actions of the past is more villainous than the perpetration of it.
Simply one of the most harsh, caustic, radical, witty condemnation of dictatorship. It creates a series of paradoxes and surreal situations to artfully draw a complete picture of totalitarianism. The relativeness of truth, law, sin, meaning: all is put into discussion. in the end, we are warned of a specific thing: the sprouts of tyranny must constantly eradicated and the memory of imprisonment and loss preserved.
Una película maravillosa, larga y densa; una alegoría política del régimen opresor comunista, con el retrato del protagonista de la historia. un alcalde de un pueblo de Georgia caracterizado grotescamente en su figura (podría pasar por Hitler y Mussolini a la vez) y en su comportamiento. Tiene momentos duros de seguir . Un relato con un tono cómico y trágico, con imágenes oníricas y surrealistas. Recomendable
This is one of the most incredible films I've watched. Intense, poetic, profound; it discusses themes like nationalism, history, symbolism, modernism, identity, fascism, morality, faith, and virtue. It’s easy for autocracy to spiral into madness. I especially like how comedy and violence has been juxtaposed so well and the completely different tone the film takes as it progresses.
Expertly controlled in the mode in which the surrealism of totalitarian regimes turns into nightmarish reality, Abuladze's Christological parable on spirituality's suffering by instrumental rationality (political/technical/legal) digs into the abyss of the aetiology of Evil. With an excellent Makharadze as the Devil incarnate it features some unforgettable set-pieces and constitutes a major indictment on Stalinism.
People of the town in this film are worried about the outcome of the scientific experiments and the future of the religious buildings. They see these buildings as cultural heritage in Durkheimian-Parsonian sense. The artist of the town tells the mayor that only an ethical leader can lead people to the enlightment. Scientific progress without moral progress is one of the things which worried Frankfurt School.
This Abuladze film is an utterly absorbing masterpiece. It flawlessly walks the cinematic tightrope between absurdism and savage socio-political realism. Particularly harrowing are the dream sequences strewn throughout, embroidered with the most minute but pertinent detail. Required viewing for the West.
This movie is a rare pearl, full of eastern symbolism and subtle yet snaring critique of authoritative powers. It portrays the strangling destruction of the reign of stupidity that was authoritative power at the time. Its modest beauty is also its weakness however, it is too clever to be captured by the eye of the wider public as a plain and simple demonstration of the atrocities that were at play at the time.
This epic and bizarre film plays like history as a weird dream but it is a fairly accurate representation of Georgian society: very strange and highly evolved in a way that is different from any other nation on earth. Even the Georgian language has no relatives or ancestors-completely unique among all the languages of the world. And it isn't clear whether Georgia is in Europe or Asia; It's somewhere else instead.