Swollen up by the spring inundation, the river falls down on the lowlands and before eventually throwing rocks and silts in the sea, gathers them here and there in the middle of the river. In several days, even sometimes overnight, in these shoals rather large islands are created. Soil of such an island is rich and fertile. An old man and his young granddaughter decide to grow corn on this island. But soldiers pass by.
One of the main goals of art film is to depict life in its most pure, elemental state. Yet few art movies have managed to achieve that goal with as much grace and poetic depth as George Ovashivili's Corn Island. This immaculately composed film takes the viewers on a soul-touching journey into the desolate, breathtakingly beautiful wilderness of a small island in Georgia and perfectly captures the rhythm of nature and the relation between nature and the two main characters whose daily struggles are interweaved into the light, sound and motion of nature around them. Throughout the film, the viewer can't help but feel the life-like, natural quality of every picture and scene. There are no excessive details; everything is distilled into its most natural state. The image of the old man's granddaughter sitting on the boat with a bundle of shining reed under the crisp sunlight is a precise portrait of life itself. In essence, art has blended into life, and life into art. What is more remarkable is that the director has managed to convey this profound state of life without the help of dialogue. Perhaps one could argue that it is precisely the lack of dialogue that has made this film that much more powerful and moving. A scene in the beginning where the old man fondly looks at a little bird pecking at the wood conveys a sense of elegance that no language can easily convey. Even the intermittent gunshots we hear in the background and the discovery of a wounded soldier that temporarily disrupts the tranquility of the island do not lead the film to deviate from its original artistic path. On the contrary, the tension lurking in the background elevates the humanistic aspect of the film to a new height. In the end, every human gesture and activity is dissolved into the larger nature. What we are left with is a film that touches the depth of our soul with such simplicity and gracefulness that very few films can match.
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