Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker Tinatin Gurchiani offers a telling portrait of life in Georgia (the former Soviet territory, not the state in the Southern United States) by letting its people speak for themselves in this offbeat documentary. Gurchiani was born and raised in the Georgian village of Tbilisi, and for her first feature film, she went back to her home town and posted notices asking for people between the ages of 15 and 25 to sit for on-camera interviews about their lives. The people who responded often fell outside Gurchiani's age guidelines, but nearly all had remarkable stories to share, which at once reflected the economic, political, and social upheavals in Georgian life as well as the universal struggle for happiness and stability. In Manqana, Romelic Kvelafers Gaaqrobs (aka The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear), Gurchiani lets her subjects speak about their circumstances and sometimes follows up by visiting them during an ordinary day; among those featured are a 13-year-old who helps work the family farm, a young woman whose developed a new perspective on life after an unexpected pregnancy, an ex-con who wants to be sure his friends behind bars are not forgotten, a politician in his mid-twenties who represents a district where most of his constituents are over seventy, and an aspiring scientist who ponders Georgia's future. The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear received its American premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Georgia [USSR], life, village