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97 minutes · 2017

Drama
This Georgian drama marks the feature debut of director Mariam Khatchvani, who demonstrates a sure hand with actors and a taste for natural beauty. Set in the Caucasus Mountains in the 1990s, the story spends several years with a young woman whose life is consistently dominated by men. Her plight, which finds her transferred like property from one man to another, illustrates the misogyny and brutality of rural Georgian culture, and Khatchvani underscores the sense of communal portraiture by frequently cutting away to wide shots and images of mountains. The director clearly despises her villains, but her approach to domestic drama is wisely understated; adopting an almost ethnographic perspective, she shows how ritual and superstition define the entire community. As a result, the men don’t seem wholly responsible for their hideous behavior—it’s the inevitable result of how they were raised. In Georgian with subtitles.

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