Kino Eye: A film from Georgia

Submitted by AWL on 27 July, 2021 - 5:32 Author: John Cunningham
Blue Mountain

Although a small country, Georgia has produced some brilliant film makers, Otar Iosseliani, Mikhail Kalatozov, Nana Jorjadze, Tengiz Abuladze and Eldar Shengelaia to name only a few. Shengelaia made Blue Mountains in 1983, an absurdist satire which lampoons Soviet bureaucracy and could be seen as a precursor to the “Glasnost” (“openness”) movement associated with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Soso is an aspiring novelist who regularly visits the local publishing house, desperately trying to get someone interested in his latest writing. However, the staff are lazy, frequently out for lunch, boozing and generally “on the make”. Soso’s manuscript just get passed around from one so-called editor to the next and everyone is “too busy” to read it.

The publishing staff don’t even notice that the building in which they work is crumbling around them and could collapse at any moment. Which towards the end of the film is precisely what happens.

The staff are then transferred to a brand new, modern building. Anyone expecting a corresponding change of attitude is disappointed as they continue in their old ways. Soso’s manuscript remains unpublished. It is a difficult film to track down, but worth the effort. Some versions do not have English subtitles.

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