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War in Georgia, Abkhazia region 1992: local Abkhaz are fighting to break free from Georgia. Estonian village between the mountains has become empty, almost everyone has returned to their homeland, only 2 men have stayed: Ivo and Margus. But Margus will leave as soon as he has harvested his crops of tangerines. In a bloody conflict in their miniature village wounded men are left behind, and Ivo is forced to take them in. But they are from opposite sides of the war. This is touching anti-war story about Estonians who find themselves in the middle of someone else's war. How do they handle it? How do the enemies act under third-party roof?Written by
The movie was about to happen two years ago. Lembit Ulfsak already asked the days off his regular theatre-work, even packed the bag, however the film-making was cancelled due to the financial difficulties. This time he was much more careful and felt even embarrassed to ask the days off from his theatre again. See more »
As the movie begins, it is freezing weather and condensation from every breath from Ivo and the soldier inside Ivo's workshop is seen. They step outside and it is not as cold and their breath is not seen. See more »
I will avenge my friend. This is a holy thing for us old man, you don't understand.
Killing a sleeping man, when he is unconscious, is that a sacred thing too? I didn't know.
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A strong human values film, with the war intruded and in the background
Ethnic and/or religious armed conflicts are always particularly painful, "realpolitik" vs. history, perceptions vs. actual circumstances, victims vs. profiteers, etc. The War in Abkhazia (1992–93) was one of the first post-Soviet gory confrontations, with tens of thousands dead, ethnic cleansing, and included the biggest successful rescue operation so far by the Estonian government to save compatriots, not even citizens, as their forebears settled there in 19th century... Many smaller nations, like Estonians, did not choose sides, they just tried to survive and carry on, splendidly expressed through tangerines in the film, but remote weaponry reaches everywhere and does not ask questions (Estonians were not considered hostile by both sides).
All this is nicely presented in this Estonian-Georgian film, where Estonian actors used are all famous film actors (the Georgian ones were unfamiliar to me, but they were convincing), and characters seem very realistic. As far as I know, the topic of honour and keeping word are holy among the Caucasus nations, enabling to depict scenes and events odd and even improbable among the Western, "civilized" nations. The venue is limited to the remains of a village, but as everything is so properly constructed and performed, you do not feel embattled, and can follow and emphasize with all characters, significantly widening the audience and letting ponder on and over the essence of warfare.
PS The film is totally "male", only actors were present, no actresses, but the less than 1,5 hours pass tautly.
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