The nation of Georgia may be small, but it is uncommonly diverse topographically and rich in cinematic tradition. As such, Discovering Georgian Cinema, a touring retrospective screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox (May 8 to 19), showcases unique depth and variety.
The program covers three periods of filmmaking: The silent era, the narrative cinema of the sixties to the eighties and the new wave of contemporary Georgian films.
Highlights include My Grandmother, an impudent pre-talkie that is not silent in its anti-bureaucratic satire; Molba, Tengiz Abuladze's historical 1967 epic, which censoring, foot-dragging Soviet authorities delayed for a decade; and The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, a sobering 2012 documentary about drab, modern-day Georgia where morale is so low that one citizen wished there was a machine that could make her disappear. No doubt Putin is working on just such a thing.