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Discovering Georgian Cinema

Discovering Georgian Cinema

Friday, March 6, 2015
7:00 p.m. The Legend of Suram Fortress
Dodo Abashidze, Sergei Paradjanov (USSR, 1985) 

Imported Print!
Introduction / Harsha Ram


Harsha Ram is an associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures and comparative literature at UC Berkeley and author of City of Crossroads: Tiflis Modernism and the Russian-Georgian Encounter (forthcoming).

(Legenda o Suramskoy Kreposki). Codirected by Dodo Abashidze and Sergei Paradjanov, this film is based on a Caucasus Mountains legend that tells of the repeated efforts of the Georgian people to construct a fortress against invaders. The fortress continues to collapse until a fortune-teller recalls a fateful prophecy. The story, at once simple and marvelous (in the literal sense), unfolds in a circular rather than linear manner, and its mythic possibilities are realized wondrously in the film’s visuals. Legend is exquisite in the manner of a painted miniature, with the jewel-like colors and decor of a medieval illuminated manuscript.


• Written by Vazha Ghigashvili. Photographed by Yury Klimenko. With Levan Uchaneishvili, Zurab Kipshidze, Lela Alibegashvili, Dodo Abashidze. (82 mins, In Georgian with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From BFI Distribution, permission Kino Lorber)