Dito Tsintsadze is one of the best directors of modern Georgian cinema (despite the fact that he lives in Germany, he makes films in Georgia too). Each of his films is met with special interest by both filmmakers and film lovers. The film "On the Edge" (1993) turned out to be a milestone, very successful one for him, which was invited to various international screenings. At the Locarno International Film Festival, this film was awarded the "Silver Leopard" for the best director, and the "Golden Eagle" at the Georgia International Film Festival. This film added a talented actor to Georgian cinema, Giorgi Nakashidze, who was filmed by Dito Tsintsadze several more times in his films. This tandem continued in the movie "Inhale-Exhale" (2019)

After several years of prison, 37-year-old Irina returns to her family, to her husband, daughter and son and mother-in-law. This is how this movie begins. As her toothbrush returns to the common glass in the bathroom, Irina has to regain her place in the family, in order to maintain it, she took her husband's crime upon herself – she went to prison as a "drug dealer." Each person strengthens family and friendly relations over the years, and there comes a stage in Irina's life when she clearly sees that she has to start everything from scratch, get to know and re-introduce herself to the closest people. This gravity is further strengthened by the gray, hopeless town created by cameraman Goga Devdariani. Filming took place in Chiatura. The refrain of the miners' procession and the cable car passing above the balconies of the houses are an indication of this. Goga Devdariani will create the necessary environment for the film in any location with his skill, although the town chosen here is an active character. It should also be said that directors often use the same way to create dramatic situations: dirty streets, dilapidated buildings, untidy living conditions in apartments, lots, drug addicts, as if in contrast to the films of the Soviet Union, in which everything was polished and shiny, and people were distinguished with hard work and decency. Both models are not only the opposite of each other, but each are the bearer of extreme, falsity.

In the film "Inhale-Exhale" in a gray, hopeless environment (screenplay by Nestan (Nene) Kvinikadze), the only decent "bright person" is gay Luka, who is going to leave this town (they don't even give him a toy chick won in a shooting gallery here) to work, save money and help his imprisoned sick mother, even though she is ashamed of her child. In this case too, the authors of the film choose the one who is rejected by the society. This is already a trend in foreign and Georgian cinema. Even many years ago, Jonathan Demme in the movie "Philadelphia" introduced us to a character of high intelligence and erudition, forgiving only unconventional orientation (played by Tom Hanks), only he would know the heights of art (for example, the greatness of Maria Callas’s voice).

The main character Irina (Salome Demuria) was also unacceptable to people after leaving the prison. There is the problem of unemployment and, most importantly, the alienation of children, the complete indifference of her husband and mother-in-law to this dramatic situation (the first only thinks about his involvement in the "methadone program," the second suffers from numbness in her legs, which turns out to be a lie). Irina does not want to live in such a lie. Her youngest son (he does not allow her to bathe him and sleeps next to his grandmother) should not only summon his "mommy" in his dreams, but also in real life. The older child, Sopho should not treat her as a traitor, but should notice, talk to her mother. Irina also wants Izo (Darejan Kharshiladze) to be a loving, sincere grandmother instead of a hypocritical mother-in-law. Her husband, Irakli (Giorgi Nakashidze), has generally lost his human and masculine virtues, who sacrificed his wife to prison, and is more worried about his own physiological problems than his children. He wants to continue to live on the expenses of his "former prisoner wife" and if he prays, everything will be forgiven. Therefore, Irina has to start her life from scratch, do everything that social workers advise. Only they will help her find a job, but before she has to go to "yoga," it is here during training that is heard: "Breathe in, breathe out, listen to yourself. What do you want? Listen to your inner world. Don't be ashamed, don't be afraid, be who you are and you will be happy!" This should be the leitmotif of Irina's new life, because in the present she is like a horse that was a victim of a car accident, people took care of people, and no one remembered the dying animal. Accidentally witnessing the accident, Irina will be its mourner. This is one of the most dramatic episodes of this film – two lonely creatures meet each other.

Dito Tsintsadze's skill as a film director was always distinguished in the selection of actors, whether they were professionals or non-professionals. This time too, Salome Demuria turned out to be the best choice. Her expressive face speaks more than the text used to express this or that emotion. The vulnerable Irina herself becomes the defender of others. The main thing is still her friendship with Luka, who will only reveal to her his date with a guy he met on the Internet, and Irina will be the only person to mourn her mutilated body.

"There is always a solution!” – this is a code phrase that the authors of the film leave for the finale, but it neither sounds nor is seen in a cheerful way. At first, Irina could not find a place in the family. She found herself unneeded in the world of the indifferent, limited by the space of the apartment, which is a small similar model of the outside world. The final supper was supposed to bring family members closer together and bring hope. The silence that settles at the table is an indication that nothing connects these people not only with Irina, but with each other too, although Dito Tsintsadze still brings a glimmer of hope with a little Tengo’s song about Santa Claus, who will come to town, find out who is evil and who is good, so " Be good and do good!” and for this to happen in reality, the main character of the film, Irina, must find her place, become stronger, and then return to her children. That's why she leaves at night, says goodbye to her sleeping children: "Sopho, mum, forgive me, please? Remember that I love you very much!" Would Irina change her decision if she heard the response cry: "Mum!"? It might mean going back to her mother. This question mark is put for us, and Irina continues on her way, going into the darkness. She is passed by miners in lighted helmets, like ghosts. She should not stop, so that she herself does not become a ghost, she should breathe equally for kindness, for another life.

Nana Tutberidze

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