September 5, 2013 - 15:48 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - In Bloom, a coming-of-age drama set in 1992 during a post-Soviet civil war was nominated as Georgia's Oscar submission in the foreign-language category, The Hollywood Reporter said.
The story of two teenage girls coping with puberty and war has touched the hearts of festival juries worldwide, with a dozen awards since the film premiered in Berlin.
Apart from kudos for directors Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, the film's young stars Lika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria have jointly won best actress more than once, most recently at last month's Sarajevo Film Festival and July's Odessa IFF.
“Georgia’s reputation as the latest cinematic hotspot for emerging talent is enhanced further by “In Bloom,” an absorbing, intelligently assembled coming-of-ager that revolves around two pubescent gal-pals growing up in 1992, just after independence was restored. Co-helmed by Georgian Nana Ekvtimishvili (also the scripter) and German Simon Gross, the pic feels indebted less to the likes of local luminaries Sergei Parajanov and Otar Iosseliani than to recent Romanian cinema, not least because of the involvement of ace d.p. Oleg Mutu (“Beyond the Hills”). As such, it’s a tiny bit derivative, but still has plenty of potential to travel.
…Although editor Stefan Stabenow has that annoying Euro-arthouse tendency to assert the pic’s high moral seriousness by holding nearly every shot, no matter how inconsequential, for 15 seconds too long, the narrative nevertheless smoothly weaves its numerous plotlines together to suggest the intricate fabric of these people’s intertwined lives. It works as an intimate drama about two very young woman destined by differences of class and character for very different fates, and also as a portrait of a fascinating period in the country’s social history. With the opening up to the West and the collapse of the Soviet Union, things are changing rapidly, and femmes like Eka and her sister have no tolerance for old customs that insist, for instance, that girls must be virgins when they marry.
A terrific scene involving a gaggle of teenage girls gossiping, smoking and arguing about who’s a slut gets this idea in a nutshell. Indeed, the pic has a few other tour-de-force sequences, including a family dinner at Natia’s that escalates into total meltdown, and a wedding scene that features a magnificently expressive dance by Eka shot in a single take,” Variety says in a review.
A Georgia-Germany co-production supported by the Georgian National Film Center, the movie is backed by German and French TV channels ARTE and ZDF.
The Georgian premiere is scheduled in Tbilisi on Sept. 19.