In order to get the most out of Georgian cinema, one must go deep into the time when films were made in the Soviet Union. This was probably a golden era for the Georgian film industry as many cult films were shot during this period. Many of them depict the lifestyle in certain regions of the country, the people, and the culture itself. Humor is the key to showing cultural values through the camera lens. It is quite essential for the viewers, and especially for foreigners, to have a better representation about how people live in certain regions like: Kakheti, Racha, Imereti etc. Apart from the culture, almost every one of the following films in this list contains numerous scenes of astonishing landscapes of different parts of Georgia. Having seen these films, you will definitely know a thing or two about how things were back then.

Everybody Wants to Be Loved 1980 (Directors: Mikheil Chiaureli, Giorgi Shengelaia)

After graduation, a young dressmaker, Makvala, is sent to one of the villages of the Kakheti region. She is ordered to make better clothes for the village dwellers, as it appears that the villagers clothing didn’t meet the requirements demanded by their lifestyle. The story also tells parallel love stories of the people living in the village. Makvala herself is loved by Burbuta, a truck driver in the village. Each and every story has a different way of expressing humor for which Kakhetians are famous for. The character of the region is depicted with a glittering humor and a delicate sadness, it will make a viewer giggle with joy, and sometimes even shed a tear. Either way, it clearly shows how we are human and need to be loved.

The First Swallow 1975 (Director: Nana Mchedlidze)

Some may say that football was first played and invented in England, but after watching the First Swallow, one might have to think twice! because it shows how passionate Megrelians and Gurulians are about the sport. The film tells the story about the first enthusiastic men who played football at the seaside in Georgia. The main protagonist, Jason, or in Georgian Iasoni, comes out of retirement to aid his former teammates against their arch-rivals. Although they face teams from around the world, their hardest opponents appear to be the English. The film is fun to watch, and has some kind of bittersweet ending. It really shows the true passion and bravery of Georgian men against all odds and how serious they take it when it comes to sports. And the Megrelian-Gurulian humor, has a special place throughout the film.

Blue Mountains or Unbelievable Story 1983 (Director: Eldar Shengelaia)

This Film tells the story of a young writer called Soso who takes his story called “Blue Mountains or Tian Shan” to be published, but unfortunately there’s no one to read it. The director is always busy, promising the young Soso he, without a doubt, will read the story. But the seasons pass by without any hope of anyone reading the poor Soso’s story, the editorial staff are never available and, to cut a long story short, nobody ever reads his story other than a hired worker. The film is a satire of Soviet bureaucracy, it exposes the Soviet system of unprofessional staff. However, it remains an ironic comedy that many will find hilarious as it depicts a crumbling building, which will definitely be demolished soon. It’s a kind of prophecy as the Soviet Union came crumbling down few years after! I totally recommend this film to give you a small insight into the failings of the Soviet Government.

 

The Eccentrics 1973 (Director: Eldar Shengelaia)

One of the Georgias best ever comedy films, saturated with cult phrases and a number of hilarious scenes, tells the story of a young boy, Ertaoz Bregvadze. After his father passed away, he is obliged to pay the debts his father had left. Having lost everything, he goes into town, where he meets Margalita, a beautiful woman. After this he is put in jail with an old physicist who is a bit of a lunatic named Christophore. Christophore dreams of building a flying machine. Together they break out of jail and the adventure begins! It’s not necessary for a person to be Georgian in order to understand the humor of the film and the funny thing is that they really do build a flying machine, fulfilling the old man’s dream.

 

Racha, My love 1977 (Director: Temuri Palavandishvili, Joseph Medvedev)

A film about the stereotypical people of Racha, who are known for their unique personalities. A Rachvelian viticulturist travels to a village in Slovakia that is also named Racha and there a young Rachvelian man, Zauri, falls in love with a local girl called Darina. Soon after Zauri invites Darina and her family to Georgia’s Racha and there he tries his best to make a good impression on her. Zauri, suffering from love towards Darina, has a hard time saying goodbye to her when Darina and her family are to leave Racha, but things are shook up a little bit and the film has some interesting twists. The film offers views of incredible landscapes and an insight into a spectacular vineyard culture and the regions dependence on wine. A must-see romantic comedy for everyone wanting to get to know Georgia and its regions more.