Georgian Cinema: Films of Desire
In this course we will explore a century of cinema from Georgia -- a magical, turbulent land at the crossroads of East and West, ancient and modern. Through the upheavals of early Soviet transformations, the nightmare of Soviet bureaucracy and purges, and the years of post-Soviet chaos and growing peace, Georgian cinema has been a source of national identity, humor, resilience, and an expression of the country’s desire for freedom, independence, and survival. We will view films that chafed at Stalin, and rebelled against the machine to create new wave and avant-garde, if suppressed, films within the Soviet Union. And we will delve into films that express Georgian humor, and the awesome and lyrical beauty of the Georgian landscape. Bringing the course up to 2014, we will watch contemporary films that deal bluntly with current political conflicts and social problems, and yet maintain a quintessential Georgian character. We will, along the way, study the various strands that make up the cloth of Georgian cinema – the filmic medium as political tool, aesthetic endeavor, lyrical expression – and how these strands intertwine in a fascinating, innovative, bold cinema.