Amsterdam documentary fest premiering Nikoloz Bezhanishvili's 'The Northeast Winds'

Bezhanishvili's documentary shows fringe political devotees of the legacy of Joseph Stalin in his birthplace city involved in arguments after authorities remove the dictator's statue from public space. Photo via IDFA, 11 Nov 2022 - 16:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

A new documentary feature by director Nikoloz Bezhanishvili will be screened at the ongoing International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam starting next week, with the filmmaker's The Northeast Winds selected for a world premiere at the internationally recognised event.

The production will bring to the screens of the festival a look at ageing believers in the legacy of the Georgian-born Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and members of fringe political parties in his birthplace city of Gori.

In five screenings between Monday and Saturday, the feature will show the bubble groups whose dedication to the cult of the historical figure makes them obsolete in the backdrop of the disinterest in the rest of the society, particularly from the young people.


These die-hard Stalinists are [...] shocked when city authorities have the statue of their hero removed. In their efforts to have it restored, they clash with another Stalinist party, which presents itself as the true guardian of Stalinism and refuses to tolerate outsiders

- IDFA preview

The festival summary for the documentary said the lens of the director showed the nostalgic locals "lost in bickering among themselves as their already-diminished and aging membership dwindles even further".

Bezhanishvili worked both as director and producer of the feature, with Dragos Apetri contributing through editing and Paata Godziashvili working on sound for the film.

The film follows the Georgian director's earlier works including Black Square, which was honoured with the best documentary award of the 2016 Burgas International Film Festival.

At this year's IDFA edition, The Northeast Winds is set to be screened in the Luminous section, with the film set to become available in the Docs for Sale selection following its premiere.