Khabarda Postoronites’ aka Zdes’ padaiut kamni. 1931. USSR. Directed by Mikheil Chiaureli. Silent, with Russian intertitles and simultaneous English translation. 64 min.
With Sergo Zavriev, P. Chkonia, Siko Vachnadze. A painter, political cartoonist, sculptor, and theater director who turned to film in his 30s, Mikheil Chiaureli made 25 films between 1928 and 1974. Some of his work was associated with the creation of Stalinist mythology; he received the Stalin Prize six times. Set in Tbilisi, Khabarda, which Chiaureli cowrote with Sergei Tretyakov, is a satire that plays on the tension between petit bourgeois values and the incoming sweep of Communist ideology. The film was immediately criticized for elements that were insensitive to Georgian culture. However, Chiaureli’s contributions to both radical film style and the expressive pictorial quality of socialist cinema remain impressive.