Under the conditions of the existence of the Soviet government, censorship and ideological pressure, documentary cinema became a passive attester of reality, although in this routine, monotonous process of development there were stages when it tried to state the author's vision and citizen's positions. It can be said that the 1920s and 1960s are the stages of the rise of Georgian documentary cinema.
The new generation, in a way, tries to continue and restore the best traditions of author cinema. Today, modern Georgian documentary film, in contrast to the feature film, actively tries to advance the acute, current social-political-economic problems in reality, to find new forms of narration, to enrich the genres "stamped" by the Soviet era. For example, the changes affected even such a "traditional" form as the portrait, where instead of the static, time-stretched interviews established for years, the authors offer a stylized, visual narrative: more active and loaded with content. It can be said that there are increasingly emerging trends of depicting the image of a specific hero with small existential details, creating a "pictorial"-visual environment, and generalizing the main problem. The obvious increase in the authors and viewers’ interest to Georgian documentary cinema is due to the specificity of this genre and the ability to create an artistic look of the modern era from the existing reality. The film "Respublika" (2021) by Tinatin and Khvicha Emiridze also shares the trends of Georgian documentary.
The change of formation in Georgia, the active changes of lifestyle, moral and ethical criteria in the post-Soviet space created a new social stratum, the so-called deviants, lumpens, who create their own "republic" in abandoned or unexploited areas across the city, a space where those rejected by the state, abandoned live outside the norms and rules established by society.
The film "Respublika" is a work of the portrait genre, which tells about one of these lumpens. The hero of the film, Dato, is a lonely person, excluded from society. Daily routine being at the dump, meeting with children, neighbors, "business partners" in unity creates a contrasting image of this main character, presents his worldview and perception.
Despite severe social problems, Dato has a dream: to build a house in his small "republic," where peace and tranquility will prevail, where he and his four-legged "friends" will live happily together. It will be Noah's small ark, a symbol of salvation in a sinful world, the search for a new land and life. The dream, the realization of which has become the main goal of this person's life, allows him to escape from reality, which burdens him with obligations, duties and care for others and makes his unbearable existence even more difficult. The only thing that connects Dato to the world he was once a part of is his children. Breaking the connection with them is equivalent to losing hope, the hope that they will accept him again. That's why he is careful about his relationship with them and gives his last pennies without thinking.
With the position of an outside observer, the authors convey the inner mood of the main character, the sadness and pessimism, one might even say, the despair, which accompanies the feeling of the hopelessness of his life.
The flag flying on the roof of the house, created by Dato, becomes a symbol of the hero's inner protest and autonomy, which periodically appears in the film, wears and fades over time, like his dreams.
In the last episode - "On the Holiday," he hosts his relatives in a half-built house decorated with flags of different countries. This meeting is being held to establish unity and peace in the “republic.” The hero of the film, surrounded by flags, burdened with material problems, seems to recognize his belonging to the great "civilized world" where there is extreme poverty along with extreme prosperity, rejecting his autonomy, dreams, desires. In the narration, the authors of the film emphasize the contrasts that the modern world is full of: the city and the suburbs, pastoral landscapes and artificial "hills" created by man, skyscrapers reflected somewhere in the distance and huts made of discarded items. These contrasts break down the main narratives of the film: poverty as a socio-economic phenomenon, the problem of human loneliness, alienation, running away from oneself, rejection from loved ones, the authors end up telling one adventure and make the audience think about a more important and relevant issue, the society that silently tries to ignore it, denies the existence of deviants, for his own well-being he calls out those who, for some objective or subjective reasons, could not become a full-fledged member of society.
“Respublika” – the work of the debutant directors is an attempt to once again show the society ordinary, disappointed, lonely people in Lumpens, to show us the harsh social environment in the country and the problem of devaluation of a person as a value.