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The creative union of Russia and Georgia is never to be broken30.06.2009 | 10:12
Governments may be at war, they may be conflicting; still, cultural inheritance survives many centuries. While the Georgian and the Russian officials are exchanging hostile statements, people of art on both sides of the border are applauding each other, admiring poems and films.
Two Georgian film directors were awarded at the XXXI Moscow international film festival that ended this weekend. Director of Georgia-film Rezo Chkheidze won the prize "For contribution to the world cinematography". The Saint George statuette was presented to the creator of "Magdana's Lurja", "The father of a soldier", "Life of Don Quixote and Sancho" by Minister of Cultural Affairs of Russia Alexander Avdeev.
"Rezo made a long and violent speech about the friendship of nations, fraternal affection and the forever beloved neighbours", - Moscovski Komsomolets describes the ceremony.
Author of The Conflict Zone Vano Burduli was distinguished in the Perspective nomination as a young and perspective director. The 35-year-old native of Tbilisi has built his story upon real events that happened in Georgia in the 90s. Two young men, Gogliko, a Georgian, and Spartak, a sharp shooter from Sukhum, go to Nagorny Karabakh which is set on fire because of the ethnic conflict. War deprives their life of sense and beauty. The main characters do not look like heroes but rather like victims of moral decadency. Gogliko takes drugs and Spartak becomes a womanizer. Both are swearing in full, switching from Georgian to Russian.
A film of this kind cannot but arouse arguments. Some people treat it as a sincere story about the past, while the others think it to be repelling. One can say that Burduli's award was politically charged. By the way, in 2006 his Nothing Has Been Erased So Far won the short films contest at the festival of CIS countries and Baltic States named "New cinema. XXI century" in Smolensk. Several other Georgian directors also received diplomas. It was said then that the outcome of the cinema forum speaks for the film-makers' "principal disapproval of the current Russian-Georgian relationship".
It seems like one can trust the taste of the panel at such an exclusive festival. Mikhail Meskhi (see photo) who starred in the film received his prize from actress Alena Babenko, who was one of the award panel. Beside her, it was director Robert Dornhelm from Austria and Michael Caton-Jones from Great Britain who judged at the contest.
Still, the major part of prizes was awarded to the Russian films. Chairman of the Union of Film-makers of Russia Nikita Mikhalkov declared from stage that the Russians should not be afraid to present their works at the international contests. The festival Grand Prix was awarded to Nikolai Dostal's Petya On His Way To Heaven. The best woman's role prize was awarded to Elena Kostuk who starred in Kira Muratova's A Melody For a Hand-Organ and the best man's role prize was given to Vladimir Ilyin for his role in Karen Shakhnazarov's "Ward No. 6".
Anyway, the work of the Georgian directors was given special attention at the festival. Besides Burduli and Chkheidze, the audience had the chance to see Dito Tsintsadze's Middleman, a Georgian-German film, and Another Shore by Georgi Ovashvili which was presented in the non-competitive program. 14 classical films made in the Georgian SSR in 1946-1984 were presented to the Russian audience within a special program named "Georgian Cimena. From Oath to Repentance".
Simultaneously with the Moscow film festival the Russian-Georgian international poetic festival called In Search of Golden Fleece took place in Georgia for the third time. Russian-speaking poets from 26 countries came to the Black Sea shore. The event was organized by the Russian Club cultural and educational union in association with the Georgian Charitable Fund, Kartu, the International Federation of Russian-speaking Writers and a public organization called The Georgians' Union in Russia. The participants of the festival were blessed with special addresses from the Patriarchs of the Russian and Georgian Orthodox Church Kirill and Ilia II.
For the whole week, poetry was recited in pure Russian in the village of Ureki of the Gurijski region. There, a famous Georgian singer and composer Irma Sokhadze gave her concert. Scriptwriter Pavel Phinn held the Poetical Cinematography master-class. Another issue to be discussed was the role of the Russian language in bringing national cultures closer to each other. The 70th anniversary of the National Friendship magazine was celebrated. Editor in chief of the New World magazine Andrey Vasilevski and his colleague from National Friendship Alexander Ebanoidze were among the festival guests.