Section: EcoEast

Didi mtswane weli

Big Green Valley

Merab Kokotschaschwili
SU (GE), 1967, 92 Min

A cinematic meditation on nature: shepherd Sosana (Dodo Abashidze) lives in a remote valley far from the Soviet ideals of collectivization and progress. The current balance between man, wildlife and the surrounding countryside can no longer be maintained however. Industrialisation continues unabated. Oil is to be drilled for at the very place where Sosana once led his cattle to graze.

The chairman of the collective farm warns Sosana that major changes are coming. The geologists have already set up camp and yet, though caught up in this tension between progress and tradition, the shepherd continues to go about his work in the valley. The enchanting living space of this outsider figure, with its untouched natural landscapes, grows more cramped by the day. And the power of progress also extends into the private sphere, as Sosana gradually becomes alienated from his family. For director Merab Kokotschaschwili, long prohibited from showing the film in the Soviet Union, one thing is certain: "If man is not free in his actions, there will be no progress": Although Sosana is characterized as "a person who comes from the past" he nevertheless creates, as a carrier of Georgian culture, space for an alternative way of life in this feature-length pastorale dedicated to a fragile idyll.

Text: Irine Beridze
English: Peter Rickerby

Glad-House: original version with German subtitles

Merab Kokotschaschwili

Merab Kokotschaschwili - Soviet and Georgian film director, actor, screenwriter.

Born on March 21, 1935 in Tbilisi (now Tbilisi, Georgia).

In 1958 he graduated from the directing department of VGIK (G. P. Shirokov's workshop). He defended himself in 1960 with the film From Court to Court.

In the early 1970s he directed a group of actors in courses at Georgia Film.

Since 1976 - artistic director of the Georgian Television Film Company.

Since 1989, he has been a lecturer and later a professor at the Film Faculty of Georgian State University. Head of the Laboratory of Film Language and Structure.

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