Caligari: 07.04. / 8.00 pm
The title is something like a cry of woe. Director Levan Zakarejsvili depicts life in Tbilisi as dominated by poverty, chaos, and violence. The plot unfolds on two narrative planes by means of the film-within-a-film device. David, a no longer youthful filmmaker, is looking for somebody to repair his camera – and is hoping to find more besides: a story. His girlfriend Salome teaches at the conservatory and earns extra cash in the evenings by playing piano in a restaurant. In the capital of the Georgian Republic, people get by as best they can, relying on help and mutual favours from friends and acquaintances. Almost incidentally, a picture unfolds of everyday life in the city. Tbilisi is a place where people have stones where their hearts should be, says David’s friend Nogar as they drink vodka together in a cafe. Going to the market one day, the filmmaker comes across his former professor, now trading from a tiny stall. He’s found a new use for his scholarly works – he passes them on as wrapping paper to the woman who sells nuts next to him. Elsewhere in the film we hear that Georgia is a country where professors become dealers and shopkeepers ministers. Now filmmaker David has his plot: His black-and-white film shows a disintegrating society whose citizens are reduced to a ruthless struggle for survival. The brutal reality is hammered into him after he indignantly turns down a proposal made to him by dubious Russian agents, and so there is more shade than light in this moving record of a disillusioned generation.