Story of distant mountainous region in Georgia that depicts folklore, lifestyle and daily routines of Svani people, focuses on the scarcity of salt in Svaneti region. Rich with documentary ...
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Robert J. Flaherty
Colman 'Tiger' King,
Story of distant mountainous region in Georgia that depicts folklore, lifestyle and daily routines of Svani people, focuses on the scarcity of salt in Svaneti region. Rich with documentary value, the movie also served for Soviet propaganda.Written by
An Inventive Mixture Of Symbolism, Ethnography And Propaganda
Deep in the Caucasian mountains is the region of Svanetia; cut off from civilization by mountains and glaciers. They have snow 8 months out of the year on their mountain pass and thus the Ushkul tribe has remained isolated for centuries, maintaining almost intact their customs and traditions.
"Jim Shvante" ( Salt For Svanetia ) (1930) was directed by Herr Mikhail Kalatozov and certainly is a brilliant, astonishing Soviet film masterpiece that must be watched by any worthy silent film fan.
The film is a semi-documentary about the Ushkul tribe, and their harsh conditions of life in their isolated region. Naturally the communists come to the rescue and provide a brilliant economic plan that brings the region into the twentieth century but of course their way of living and religion must go in the name of progress. It seems that Georgian film directors like Herr Kalatozov (who began his career as a cameraman), had a special fondness for documentaries, giving this film format an excellent opportunity to depict the special idiosyncrasies of the Georgian country.
"Jim Shvante" makes brilliant use of the camera and has man inventive technical tricks. Of course this is all in the service of propaganda but is aesthetically exciting Every shot in the picture is full of epic atmosphere and of course we have the contrast of Soviet progress and modernity (lots of close-ups of machinery and collective human efforts) with the underdevelopment of the Svans who are being held back by their religion and customs. The film is an inventive mixture of symbolism, ethnography and propaganda.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must continue his aristocratic isolation from the modern world.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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