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Herbert is a German embassy official in Georgia. He lives an inane life until he meets twelve-year-old girl Sashka who makes him laugh and feel responsibility. Soon he is in trouble because he is suspected of pedophilia, meets corrupt policemen, burglars and violent people. Written by
Quiet film that gives deep look into life in Georgia and as a lonely foreigner
I saw this at the Tribeca Film Festival in May 2007, and found it moving. Its depiction of life in Tbilisi, Georgia is pitch-perfect, with lots of convincing portrayals of all the conflicts that come up around emigration, access to bureaucracies, and the language barrier.
The direction is just right: not heavy handed, but believably passionate and intense. The ensemble cast is excellent, and the two leads are convincingly inscrutable, and in different ways. There is lots of ambiguity, and viewers will have to reach their own opinions and conclusions about what's going on, but it's an ambiguity that grows naturally out of the story, not one that's forced onto the material for affect.
The story will be too slow for some, but I thought it allowed time for subtle observations about all the ways people find to deal with unfamiliar situations. Bravo. It's great to see some of Georgia's great cinematic talent reaching US audiences.
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