The Calvert Journal: “Mother country: meet the women at the forefront of new Georgian cinema“

Still from Ana Urushadze's 2017 work 'Scary Mother'. Photo:, Mar 06, 2018, Tbilisi, Georgia

A new generation of female filmmakers and actors from Georgia are defining novel and relevant characters and stories about women of the country via the art form of cinema, says a new feature on The Calvert Journal.

The popular website on the culture of the region often referred to as "the New East" has dedicated the piece — written by Tamar Koplatadze — to the emergence of creatives who have asserted their vision on the local film scene.

While the first cohort of New Wave films [produced in Georgia in the early 2000s] examined the country’s painful recent history of socio-political unrest, the second wave of films, largely by women directors, puts the spotlight on strong female protagonists who face the myriad challenges of life in 21st-century Georgia", notes its author when introducing readers to the subject.

Their rise to prominence also serves as a retrospective of Georgian cinema in the story, heralded by Some Interviews on Personal Matters, a notable Soviet-era work by director Lana Gogoberidze.

The feature's focus on women's perspectives on their experiences is then traced forward to the contemporary works such as the 2014 Venice Film Festival-premiered Line of Credit by Gogoberidze's daughter Salome Alexi.

[In Alexi's work the] female protagonist deals with not only domestic, but also economic and social challenges [...] In Nino’s world, male figures are either dead, like Nino’s father and grandfather, or lack presence".

Other directors and their female protagonists expand the review, which illustrates different social, economic and interpersonal circumstances women have found themselves in during the turbulent decades of Georgia's independence.

 The most recent films by a younger generation of Georgian directors [...] are more explicit in their feminist approach. These films question the role of women as devoted, multi-tasking matriarchs and emphasise the importance of having a room of one’s own", says the piece.

This shift is illustrated by characters such as the two protagonists of Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’s My Happy Family and Ana Urushadze's Scary Mother, both released last year and recognised with prominent international awards.

The Calvert Journal feature concludes by noting how these and other characters are heralding the social and cultural change in Georgia's patriarchal society and representing prospects for a future that "is bound to be more exciting than ever".

Read the full story here: