Excellent example of golden age of Georgian cinema
I saw this movie years ago on television and immediately felt I was watching a masterpiece. Expressive use of colour, splendid camera-work and editing, a brutal story of Stalinist repression told in an almost cheerful and poetical way. The characters and acting remind one of Fellini at his best. The main story in the film is the tale of a 20th century family line of swimmers who all attempt to swim some near-impossible distance in the Black Sea. But it is all the history around these efforts which make the film what it is: a masterpiece.
Other Georgian filmmakers of the period, more or less related in style, are the older Sergei Parajanov, of Armenian descent, Otar Iosseliani who went on to become famous in France and Tengiz Abuladze. The latter is closest to this film; an interesting introduction on him is a comment to his 'Natvris khe' (Wishing Tree, 1976), another masterpiece.
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