7 user 8 critic

Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird (1970)

Iko shashvi mgalobeli (original title)
A carefree young percussionist roams the streets of Tbilisi, interacting with friends and strangers alike, and tries to avoid responsibilities.


Otar Iosseliani


Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young idealist takes a job at a local state run winery only to discover and become disillusioned by the corruption of the Soviet State.

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Ramaz Giorgobiani, Gogi Kharabadze, Marina Kartsivadze
Pastorale (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Members of a music band spending summer in the countryside watch the petty dramas play out among the local folks and among themselves.

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Nana Ioseliani, Tamar Gabarashvili, Mikhail Naneishvili
Aprili (1961)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young happy couple moves from a poor district to a new housing estate. Their relationship gets progressively worse as their comfort and possessions increase.

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Tatyana Chanturia, Gia Chiraqadze, Akakiy Chikvaidze
Vedreba (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Brave sons of Khevsureti and Kisteti fight against each to protect their homelands. But, they confront faulty domestic traditions to respect enemy's true prowess and find themselves in conflict with own compatriots.

Director: Tengiz Abuladze
Stars: Spartak Bagashvili, Rusudan Kiknadze, Ramaz Chkhikvadze
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A story told quietly of Vincent a welder at a large and seemingly toxic plant along the Rhône, living in a village with his sons, wife, and mother, saying little to each other. Vincent ... See full summary »

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Jacques Bidou, Anne Kravz-Tarnavsky, Narda Blanchet
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A noble family of France maintains dignity despite the onslaught of modernism and non-white immigrants.

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Narda Blanchet, Pierette Pompom Bailhache, Aleksandr Cherkasov
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The film depicts daily life in an Senegalian village. The people sleep, eat, make love, pray for rain, et cetera, while civilization, by way of timber trucks and tree fellers, is slowly ... See full summary »

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Sigalon Sagna, Saly Badji, Binta Cissé
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

This film is about psychology of people, about lonesome persons, about terrible mentality and about fantastic dreams...

Director: Tengiz Abuladze
Stars: Lika Kavzharadze, Soso Jachvliani, Zaza Kolelishvili
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

An author - a passive young man - enters the Soviet-controlled bureaucracy of Georgia attempting to get his novel published only to be neglected and compartmentalized at every turn.

Director: Eldar Shengelaia
Stars: Ramaz Giorgobiani, Vasil Kakhniashvili, Teimuraz Chirgadze
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 41st Venice International Film Festival, this absurdist comedy, with its sprawling cast of crooks, thieves, anarchists, prostitutes, chief inspectors, ... See full summary »

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Katja Rupé, Alix de Montaigu, François Michel
Winter Song (2015)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A deadpan, picaresque buddy comedy about two old friends through a series of urban adventures, loosely connected by the skull of an executed French aristocrat. Winter Song is a typically ... See full summary »

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Rufus, Amiran Amiranashvili, Mathias Jung
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

King Vano rides bravely off into battle, but only after ensuring his passionate Queen is safely locked in her chastity belt.

Director: Otar Iosseliani
Stars: Amiran Amiranashvili, Davit Gogibedashvili, Giorgi Tsintsadze


Cast overview, first billed only:
Gela Kandelaki ... Gia Agladze
Gogi Chkheidze Gogi Chkheidze
Jansug Kakhidze Jansug Kakhidze ... Dirizher
Irine Jandieri ... Lia
Elene Landia Elene Landia
Irina Mdivani Irina Mdivani ... (as I. Mdivani)
Marina Kartsivadze Marina Kartsivadze
Nugzar Erkomaishvili Nugzar Erkomaishvili
Irakli Kokrashvili Irakli Kokrashvili ... (as I. Qoqrashvili)
Natia Anjaparidze Natia Anjaparidze ... (as N. Andjaparidze)
Dea Ivanidze Dea Ivanidze
Tamari Ishkhneli Tamari Ishkhneli
T. Gedevanishvili T. Gedevanishvili
Revaz Baramidze Revaz Baramidze ... (as R. Baramidze)
Robert Sturua Robert Sturua ... Soso


Gia is a carefree young percussionist who works at a theater in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia. He lives in a small apartment with his mother. Gia spends his days flitting from friend to friend, lover to lover, avoiding any responsibility, and never staying still for five minutes. However, he always manages to arrive at the theater just in time to play the drums at the end of the ballet. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music


See all certifications »



Soviet Union


Georgian | Russian

Release Date:

11 July 1972 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Georgian-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Erbarme Dich
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Little masterpiece
18 October 2011 | by ZbiSalSee all my reviews

This is a story from the life of a young man. One evening, one day and one morning.

This young man is a musician. He plays on percussion instruments in theater or opera. He even tries to become a composer but .... We see him in his home working on his composition but it doesn't last long. Then we see him in public reading room. It looks he wants to work seriously but, once again, it doesn't last long. Something else turns his attention and he leaves. His day looks like this: he has many friends in every age and gender, he constantly meets them. One of them he accompanies to the doctor(his another friend), to second one he offers a book, with third one he simply chats, with one of his girlfriends he goes to her job etc. Whether is his hunger for life or simply lack of responsibility it's up to spectator's opinion. On the other hand, he forgets that he promised one visiting couple(who visited him following the recommendation of another friend) that he promised them to show Tbilisi. He tells her mother, criticizing him for that, that he had "a very busy day".

During a concert in theater he leaves early, goes to her aunt's birthday, plays piano to accompany her aunt singing, then leaves in a hurry to play one short solo at the end of the concert. Thats of course infuriates both the conductor and director of the theater. However, he is always on time to deliver a solo ... After concert he goes to restaurant when two groups of his friends claims their right to him. One man is disappointed that he came lately, that left him for the others etc.

He dies next morning after his "busy" day. Hit by a car, stupid and unnecessary death. His composition is unfinished...

One question arises: What did director wanted to say? That life is to short to waste it on stupid stings? That one shouldn't get involved only in petty issues but find a serious occupation?

Maybe yes, maybe now. Clock in last scene may suggest this. But's it up to you to decide.

2 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed