The War Veterans Military Hospital of Georgia provides free healthcare for veterans from different wars. The State Department of War veterans terminated financing the hospital due to the lack of state resolution. The doctors continue to work for free, while requesting the continuation of the state program, and patients have to buy medication themselves.
The Hospital - The Next Frontline of Veterans
Avtandil Margiani was a member of the Georgian Parliament from 1990-1995, he was also a Vice-Premier of the country in 1992-1995. He is the leader of the political movement “Ertiani Sakartvelo” (“United Georgia”). The office of the movement is located in Tbilisi, in the building of mining chemistry.
When It Comes to The 90s
Five nuns and one novice live in St. Nino’s Monastery, which opened in Samtskhe-Javakheti (1992), lead by Mother Elisabed. They produce a European style of Georgian cheese, honey, chocolate and other products. The nuns also work on enamel and make mosaics.
Tbilisi’s subway depot teems with life, day and night. When darkness falls, only machinists go to sleep. Their intense work mandates a clear mind and a rested body. “The Waker” is the person responsible for making sure they are ready on schedule - she wakes them up. Once up, they have their morning coffee, undergo ad-hoc medical tests, check the train and prepare it for the driving shift. The trains leaving the the station in the morning return to the depot several times during the day for regular technical check-ups. In case of damage, they are repaired and then returned to the tunnels for their service - going down through Tbilisi’s underground labyrinth.
Tbilisi Down Under
My grandfather’s story is the story of the Soviet Union. Born in 1919, two years before Georgia became one of the Soviet Socialist republics, he passed away in 1997, six years after the communist project burned to ashes. Those 78 years of his life, like millions of others’, was marked by the USSR’s fate – fighting in World War II, joining the Communist party, getting married, striving for better housing conditions, acquiring more and more household items. It all culminated with the collapse of the USSR and soon after – his own death. His imprint on life was ultimately destroyed by a fire, which burned down his ancestral house. But some of the objects that filled his private space outlived him to tell the story of a communist man.
Ashes of Time
Lying close to the left embankment of Mtkvari River, David Aghmashenebeli Avenue encapsulates Tbilisi’s diversity. A festival of colors and languages reflects the street’s vibrant community whose members - from Turkey to India, via Iraq and Pakistan - hustle in a string of cafes, restaurants, hotels, barber shops, service firms. The buzz embraces its cobbles and pavements, echoing Georgia’s history at the crossroads of east and west - a history that everyone knows of and a few are not pleased with. In 2016 the police arrested 11 Georgian nationalists after a crowd targeted Turkish restaurants on the avenue. The one-off incident has not affected the life on the street which over the centuries has attracted, and thrived on, thousands of people beyond the Georgian border who have in turn influenced its urban character. Today, Aghmashenebeli Avenue continues to tell the intertwined story of Georgia’s history, politics, and urbanism.
Aghmashenebeli Avenue: A Kaleidoscope of Colors and Languages
In the 1950s Laituri, a village of 2697 residents, buzzed with life. Georgians, Russians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis flocked to the rural centre in western Georgia to work on the tea plantations that used to dot the region during the Soviet Union. The break-up of the USSR sent the production into freefall - families were left without a vital income and Laituri’s kaleidoscope of languages, religions, ethnicities faded and disappeared. Today scores of locals have turned into seasonal migrants who travel to pick tea in neighbouring Turkey’s fields. God, Thank You For Tea tells the story of those whose lives were shaped by these scented tea plantations.
God, Thank You for Tea !
Georgians arrived in Istanbul at different times with different aims. Today they are scattered throughout this foreign city but each one is creating their own version of Georgia, a reflection of what they miss from home. In Huseyin’s version of Georgia, they prepare Turkish tea and serve Turkish dishes, carrying them from one floor to another. Irakli’s version of Georgia is Café Galaktioni, which welcomes everyone and treats its guests to Georgian cuisine, literature and music. In the outskirts of the city, Georgian women work in private residential houses. They often gather at Dadu’s, where they create their own version of their homeland by making Georgian dishes, singing Georgian songs and sharing their grief with each other.
I Am Taking My Homeland with Me
Fast and radical changes in my native city, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, were followed by fire at my home. All my memories vanished, leading me to a sense of alienation. Documenting my efforts to search for remains of my home, old spaces around my neighborhood, everything that survived from my childhood, I try to collect artifacts of my personal history and preserve my memory, which reflects the collective emotional memory of Georgia.
My piece of the earth
Observing and documenting events that were strongly influenced by the pandemic in 2020.
Locked up at home and alone, director Maka Gogaladze felt that she was part of something bigger. She realized that her constant fear of an uncertain future was no longer hers alone.With a sense that she returned to her childhood, to the 1990s, Maka feels like she can simply go outside and share all her fears and feelings of insecurity with a stranger. There is no need to go far; it seems that the world around her shrunk in 2020. It has become exactly the same as it was in the past - her whole world is still within walking distance from her front door.
I realized that something dramatically changed about a year ago when I was sitting on a bus and I coughed in my mask. The woman sitting next to me turned her back on me demonstratively. At the first opportunity, she moved further away from me. This was the first time another human was scared of me.
Soon after that, a whole series of hard experiences began and fear became part of my daily routine. However, handling my own fears is nothing compared to handling someone being afraid of me. It turns out that there was very little I could do about that. This film allowed me to enter that new reality, which was actually just outside my front door. It appeared that I had been ignoring it. I tried hard to break through this wall and rediscover the world I disconnected from many years ago when I missed my chance to explore it in the pool of opportunities.
As far as I can walk
Georgians, like people anywhere, can share the same history, walk the same streets and speak the same language, but still live in groups isolated from each other, in different surroundings. They analyze and evaluate the past that belongs to their collective and emotional memory in different ways -- some are in bondage to that history, while others seek to escape it. This can lead to a type of vertigo that distorts perspectives. The future looks different to everyone. Any point of intersection between these groups, where they can find a common perspective, completely disappears. This film attempts to unite these different spaces into one.
The Vertigo Effect
Through the creative use of archival footage, a documentary filmmaker Maka Gogaladze tells a story of her family - from her birth till the present day, intertwined with the turbulent history of Georgia over the last 30 years. The two storylines of the film are very different in terms of scale but they represent the same plot, since the events that shaped the history of the country have defined and shaped her personal life as well.