Guardian of Machakhela: see new short film featuring a Ranger of western Georgia's national park

  • Dural Khinkiladze has spent 40 years working to safeguard the ecosystem of the location, seen in this still from the short documentary 'Guardian of Machakhela' by director Saxon Bosworth., 17 May 2022 - 16:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Western Georgia's Machakhela National Park, a part of the regional biome that was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List last year, is home to a diverse flora and fauna, but also to a senior Ranger who has been protecting the natural site for four decades, and is featured in a new short film released online on Saturday.

Dural Khinkiladze, the Ranger in the hilly location located about 30km outside the Black Sea coastline city of Batumi, is the focus of the short documentary by British filmmaker Saxon Bosworth, the founder of the Découvrir La Vie online platform featuring multimedia stories of travel inspiration.

Born in 1960, the senior servant at the 2014-formed park speaks about his life and the role of the natural preserve in it, noting everything from material hardships to the current popularity of the location among visitors.

Originally working as a "forest guardian" in the area, Khinkiladze found a natural continuation of his work after the formation of the park and the introduction of the internationally adopted form of nature protection structures in Georgia over the recent decades, becoming a Ranger in Machakhela. He tells the film director he has been "in touch with the nature" for four decades.

He also explains the diversity of the local fauna in the Machakhela Vallery, with brown bears, boars, chamois, jackals and other animals sighted in the area. Deer have also been observed by camera traps in the park in the recent years.

The honoured Ranger tells viewers the best time of year for planning a visit to the location is summer, with warm weather in the local climate influenced by the wetlands that were recognised with the UNESCO title.

The film features footage of the rolling hills of the natural location, its lush green surroundings as well as shots of locals in their daily life. The work follows Bosworth's video works on locations ranging from the Aral Sea in the Central Asia to urban explorations in Belgrade and sights of Portugal.