The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive joins forces with The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film to present the largest-ever retrospective of Georgian cinema in the United States. This passion project, undertaken by successive curatorial staffs at the two organizations over more than 20 years, is a two-part series bringing together 45 programs—in prints sourced from multiple archives throughout Europe, the U.S., and the republics of Georgia and Russia—encompassing the history of Georgian film production from 1907 to 2014. The exhibition traces the development of Georgian cinema from classics of the silent era to great achievements of the early sound and Soviet era, through the flourishing 1980s and the post-Soviet period to today.
Throughout the turbulent history of the last century, Georgian cinema has been an important wellspring for national identity, a celebration of the spirit, resilience, and humor of the Georgian people. These filmmakers, working across a broad range of styles and thematic concerns, have created everything from anti-bureaucratic satires of the Soviet system, to philosophical studies rooted in a humanist tradition, to lyrical, poetic depictions of the region’s spectacular landscape. Discovering Georgian Cinema illuminates not only Georgia’s rich cinematic heritage, but how that tradition can be traced through to its modern incarnation: equally personal, equally bold, and eternally unique.
PART I: A FAMILY AFFAIR
September 23–October 16
Part I of the series focuses on one of the particularities of the Georgian cinema: the remarkable lines of familial relationships that weave through and connect its cinematic production from the 1920s to the present, where we find several third-generation filmmakers active.
PART II: BEYOND THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
November 22–December 21
Part II of the series blends old and new by showcasing classics from the silent era by early masters such as Ivan Perestiani, Kote Mikaberidze, and Vasil Amashukeli. We continue to explore the great achievements of the early sound and Soviet era, including key works by Otar Iosseliani and Sergei Paradjanov, and highlight both the flourishing 1970s and 1980s and contemporary works with a personal appearance by of one of the leading lights, Levan Koguasvhili.
Film notes are adapted from research and writing by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Film titles are listed with English translations first, followed by [Georgian] and, where applicable, (Russian).
Discovering Georgian Cinema is a collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Organized by Susan Oxtoby, Senior Film Curator, BAM/PFA, and Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, MoMA. Special thanks to the Georgian National Film Center, Tbilisi; the National Archives of Georgia, Tbilisi; and Sofia Babluani; Nino Chichua; and Candace Ming, Intern, Department of Film, MoMA.
The presentation at MoMA is made possible by the Georgian Government.
Major support is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.
Prints courtesy of BAM/PFA, Icarus Films, GNFC, Tbilisi Film Studio, and BFI.
Image: The Machine which Makes Everything Disappear. 2012. Georgia/Germany. Written and Directed by Tinatin Gurchiani. Image courtesy of Icarus Films