Archive for May 9th, 2015

plea 2

by Allan Fish

(USSR 1968 72m) not on DVD

Aka. Vedreba; The Prayer

The whole village here gathered…

p  Aleqsandre Jagarbekovi, Tina Ochiauri  d  Tengiz Abuladze  w  Tengiz Abuladze, Anzor Saluqvadze, Rezo Kveseleva  poems  Vazha Pshavela  ph  Aleksandr Antipenko  ed  Lusia Vartikyan  m  Nodar Gabunia  art  Revaz Mirzashvili  cos  Tengiz Mirzashvili

Tengiz Archvadze (Aluda), Spartak Bagashvili (Gvtisia), Rusudan Kiknadze (woman in white), Otar Megvinetukhutsesi (Jokola), Nana Kavtaradze (Gaza), Zura Qapianidze (Zviadauri), Geidar Palavandishvili (Mutsali), Irakli Uchaneishvili (Musa), Ramaz Chkhikvadze (Matsili),

For those who know Georgian director Tengiz Abuladze through his most famous late masterpiece Repentance, The Plea will come as something of a revelation.  And I use that term in a way not forgetting the original 27th and final book of the New Testament.  Watching The Plea one feels that John the Evangelist was here, even Christ himself.

They weren’t the only ones, however.  Nearly forty years earlier the great Russian director Mikhail Kalatozov came here, at 26, to make his first great film, the dramatized documentary on life in the Caucasian mountains, Salt for Svanetia.  His film had depicted ancient stone towers, structures like sentinels from a distant past and how transport had finally connected Svanetia to the modern world.  In The Plea, we’re back in time, but it’s not entirely certain how far.  We’re told that the film is based on the poems of Vazha Pshavela, and as such we presume we’re around the turn of the 20th century.  Yet in Pshavela’s work there’s a sense of something far more remote, as if he was merely a scribe taking down oral traditions going back centuries, after listening to storytellers in tents and caravans for countless hours.  (more…)

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