5 Days of War

Inspired by the real events of the swift–but devastating–five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, 5 Days of War centers around an American journalist (Rupert Friend) and his cameraman (Richard Coyle) caught in the combat zone during the first Russian airstrikes against Georgia. Rescuing Tatia (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a young Georgian schoolteacher separated from her family during the attack, the two reporters agree to help reunite her with her family in exchange for serving as their interpreter. As the three attempt to escape to safety, they witness–and document–the devastation from the full-scale crossfire and cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians.

In Bloom

Tbilisi, Georgia, 1992: The Soviet era is over and Georgia must fend for itself. Civil war is raging in the province of Abkhazia. For Natia and Eka, the barely fourteen-year-old protagonists of Grzeli nateli dgeebi, childhood is coming to an end. Eka is growing up without her father, rebelling against her concerned mother and her older sister. And Natia’s father, a choleric alcoholic, terrorises the entire family. The two friends cannot find peace outside of the family either – not in school, not on the street, and not in the bread lines. Chaos, insecurity, and fear of what the future might bring hold sway in everyday life. An admirer gives Natia a pistol with one single bullet. A little later, she’s abducted by another admirer. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

Tangerines

War in Abkhazia 1990. An Estonian man Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. In a bloody conflict at his door, a wounded man is left behind, and Ivo is forced to take him in.

Corn Island

The Inguri River forms a natural border dividing Georgia from Abkhazia. One of the spring floods has created a little island in the middle of the river, as if made for the cultivation of corn. At least, this is the belief of an old peasant, whose sunburned face resembles the landscape he has trodden for dozens of years.

Brides

Seamstress Nutsa marries Goga, the father of her children. The ceremony is brief – both of them just give their signature and then she has to leave. Goga is in prison, where he will remain for another six years. By marrying him, Nutsa gains the right to talk to Goga once a month on the other side of the glass. Her children don’t want to accompany her on her next visit: their father has become a stranger to them. One day at work, Nutsa meets another man. They have a conversation and later the man pays her a visit. At that moment, Goga phones with news that there’s a change in the prison’s rules: married inmates are now allowed to have their spouses stay overnight. Nutsa puts on the dress she wore on their first date. But Nutsa and Goga feel awkward with this sudden intimacy. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

Blind Dates

Levan Koguashvili’s quietly enchanting film carves out an unpredictable path for its Tblisi bachelor protagonist that leads not so much toward love as a lovely sense of generosity toward all. Best friends since childhood, history teacher Sandro (Andro Sakhvarelidze) and former soccer player-turned-coach Iva (Archil Kikodze) teach at the same school, and both find themselves still single on the brink of 40. Sandro still lives with his parents, who are forever bemoaning his lack of marital status. When Sandro asks to borrow their car for a weekend trip to the seaside, they insist on coming along. There, the men meet up with a student and her mother (Ia Sukhitashvili), who is clearly interested in Sandro, though nothing is easy, since the girl’s father is currently in prison and will be getting out shortly. [Synopsis courtesy of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival]