Film Screening In Georgia

In Georgia © DEFA Stiftung Thomas Plenert

Fri, 08.11.2019

7:00 PM

Goethe-Institut London

A rare screening of Jürgen Böttcher’s beautiful 1987 travelogue to the director’s dream destination. A tribute to a country and its people and to the first glance of an encounter.


The screening is organised in partnership with Life Through Cinema, home of the Georgian Film Festival since 2010.

After the screening please share your impressions and join us for a reception with Georgian wine kindly provided by Les Caves de Pyrene and Pheasant’s Tears.

One of Jürgen Böttcher’s most personal projects, this is the record of a journey that he undertook in 1987 together with his then regular cameraman Thomas Plenert and the sound technician Ebehard Pfaff. It was Böttcher’s first film shot abroad and a project he had been dreaming of ever since discovering the work of the Georgian painter Nico Pirosmani in an exhibition in Berlin in the 1960s. Following an exploratory visit a year earlier, they went on their second trip to shoot, see new locations, to gather new impressions and meet new people. It was spontaneity and immediacy they were after on their journey, which took them from the ancient capital of Mtskheta, via the region of Adjara on the Black Sea to the villages of the Upper Svanetian Caucasus. As Böttcher says in the beginning of the film: “Rather than a comprehensive film about Georgia, this film is perhaps a rural portrait, and is subjective as well. We didn't seek out the country’s many achievements, or political conflicts. We were guests for a short time, and in all the villages we visited, what we treasured most was the first glance of an encounter and the rhythm of a foreign language, without feeling the need to understand everything.” What Böttcher doesn’t mention here is their obvious enchantment with the country’s natural landscapes, so stunningly captured in the film's long panorama shots and, a rarity in Böttcher’s oevre, in beautifully vibrant colours.
In Georgia (In Georgien), GDR 1987, colour, 35mm, 105 mins. With English subtitles.
Directed by Jürgen Böttcher, Camera: Thomas Plenert, Sound: Eberhard Pfaff. Editor: Gudrun Plenert.

The screening will be introduced by Tamar Koplatadze, Oxford University.

Her introduction to this screening will explore how Jürgen Böttcher became interested in Georgia, then still a Soviet country not yet swept over by the wave of dissident movements, and highlight intriguing connections between Böttcher and famous Georgian artists and film directors, including Niko Pirosmani and Otar Iosseliani.
Tamar Koplatadze is a researcher at the University of Oxford focusing on literature and film from post-Soviet Caucasus and Central Asia. She is also interested in cross-cultural dialogues between the former Soviet Union and Western Europe. Tamar has discussed her research on various platforms, among them BBC Radio 3, The Calvert Journal, London Georgian Film Festival, Tyneside Georgian Film Festival, and GoViral Almaty festival of ideas.

This screening is organised in partnership with   Life Through Cinema

You may also be interested in the book launch of Englsh translation of award winning Georgian-born writer Nino Haratischvili's novel The Eighth Life on Thursday, 28 November 2019 at the Goethe-Institut. More information here.