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Discovering Georgian Cinema

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Discovering Georgian Cinema

Sunday, November 9, 2014
4:00 p.m. Our Courtyard
Rezo Chkheidze (USSR, 1956)

(Nash dvor, a.k.a. Our Yard). The picaresque village comedy is updated for Georgia’s postwar urban realities in Rezo Chkheidze’s lyrical tale of life, love, and the pursuit of individual happiness and the collective good inside a chaotic Tbilisi courtyard. “Before we show you our yard, we’d like to show you our ancient but eternally young Tbilisi,” our narrator proudly chirps as the camera pans over the city’s attractive skyline, before swooping into the good-natured chaos of one neighborhood apartment block. Students, scientists, factory workers, and idle gossips call out from the balconies of its courtyard, led by our hero Dato, a strapping student and factory worker with an eye for the lovely Tsitsino. Pranks, fights, trips to the water, courtships, misunderstandings, and work, always work: here is life in miniature, a neighborhood that’s become a village, still proudly Georgian. Inspired by both Italian neorealism and a swelling pride in what its city could accomplish, Our Courtyard boasts a star turn by Giorgi Shengelaia, son of the great director Nikoloz and later to become one of Georgia’s most famous modern filmmakers (Pirosmani).

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Georgi Medivani. Photographed by G. Chelidze. With Sofiko Chiaureli, Giorgi Shengelaia, Leila Abachidze. (89 mins, in Georgian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, BAM/PFA Collection)