Directors: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Groß
Writer: Nana Ekvtimishvili
Stars: Lika Babluani, Mariam Bokeria, Zurab Gogaladze
In Bloom opens on May 3rd.
For those of you expecting a Nirvana bio-pic, please go elsewhere! This is the story of two 14 year old girls in Tblisi in 1992. This was a time of great change in Tblisi, as the Soviet Union had collapsed and the new state of Georgia was forming. There were food shortages, poverty and a constant fear of war. This tale is told through the perspective of these young women, who have to leave their childhood behind and face into the dangerous adult world.
Writer/ Co-Director Nana Ekvtimishvili was born in Tblisi in 1978, so was in fact 14 in 1992, so this is very much her story. Eka Khizanishvili is the main character of the piece. She is a young woman growing up without her father, as he is in prison. She lives with her Mother and older sister in a small apartment. Her best friend is Natia Zaridze, a beautiful girl who all the boys seem to be interested in, but she has her own problems at home, with parents who regularly fight. When a boy who is interested in Natia presents her with a gun, to ‘keep her safe’, a shadow forms over their world.
According to the great playwright Anton Chekhov ‘If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there’. There is another option though, the gun can continue to loom over the piece, and demand the attention of the viewer throughout. While the gun is in this film, being passed between the characters and hidden in secret locations, the audience continue to wait for the ‘bang’.
It will come as a surprise to no one that a coming of age piece set in Eastern Europe is not the cheeriest film you’ll see this year. For whatever reason, they tend not to do a lot of farces or mad cap comedies in that part of the world. The perspective is a bit bleak and the story is slower than most, but that is not a complaint. It’s just a fact you know on the way into the cinema, and it’s a choice you’ll have to make. At times it is quite beautifully shot, and as a vision of teenage life during a time of change, it is complex and well written.