Friday, March 6, 2015


By D.E.Levine

A New Directors New Films 2015 Selection

Americans have been through their mortgage crisis and here we see what capitalism has done to the Republic of Georgia's society and mortgage system.

Nino (Nino Kasrdze) has a small restaurant in Tbilisi that was, we learn, solvent under the old Soviet regime.  She has family responsibilities for her aged mother, her son, her husband and a variety of friends and relatives.  With the rise of capitalism, Nino encounters severe economic problems.

Not only can't she make a living from the shop, but she has to keep spending money for expenses in the family and in her home.

She's no Wharton graduate, so she borrows money from a variety of sources, pawns her jewelry and enters into agreements where she's unable to pay the interest on the loans and doesn't have a chance at paying the principal.  She has a multitude of schemes to get money for her immediate needs but no plans for how to get money for repayment of the loans.

Coming from an aristocratic family and living in an old (an decrepit) mansion, Nino gives the impression to the neighbors of still having money.  However, to pay for her mother's birthday party she has to pawn the older woman's wedding band and we sense quickly that Nino and her family's former expensive lifestyle ended in 2008 when Russia and its economy changed.

This is an interesting but depressing film about people forced into poverty by political changes beyond their control.  A disclaimer at the end says the film is based on historically true fact, but doesn't offer any solutions.