Aug 182008

The conflict in Georgia got me thinking about Russian movies that feature Georgians. Are there any insights to be gained about Russian attitudes towards the people?

Mimino is a big one. The main character is Georgian. He is played as a good-hearted country bumpkin — he talks loudly on the phone, is quick-tempered, carries on an honorable feud, and is an all-around good guy. But now I wonder how the Georgians feel about this movie. The Georgian characters are treated sympathetically. Or is it condescension? It can be hard to tell the two apart in my own culture, so I wouldn’t dare to say how it comes across to someone else. Regardless, I thought it was a great movie.

There are a lot of other movies that deal with the Caucasus, but I don’t know if the Caucasians in them are Georgians. For example, there is “Kidnapping, Caucasion Style.” Those people in it — are they Georgians? And are the filmmakers having fun by stereotyping them? They wear some of the same style hats, if I remember correctly. Again, what do the ethnic groups being portrayed think of the movie? (Not that everyone should have the same opinion.)

“Depuis qu’Otar est partir” features Georgians and Russians, but that one is not a Russian film.


But in keeping with this blog’s mission to deal with the most trivial aspects of movies, I have to wonder about a Georgian references in Kin-dza-dza. One of the two main characters from planet earth is supposed to be Georgian, but what are we to make of that scene toward the end where Uef of planet Pluk says he had a Georgian mother? The two worlds are so different from each other, and had known nothing about each other. All of a sudden Uef says comes out with that line, but it generates no big surprise. I suspect an inside joke.

(Late edit – changed the title to make it more grammatical)