The generation of "Sixties" is the name of those directors, whose representatives most of all managed to confront "fathers" with their national, democratic values, striving for freedom and individualism. In fact, at the later stages of the development of Georgian cinema, no generation succeeded in replacing them, confronting them, on the contrary, it was the art of the "sixties" that "nourished" the cinema of the next generations.

Lana Ghoghoberidze is one of the directors who, even in concealed ways was able to talk about the moral and ethical problems in the society under the conditions of strong censorship in the Soviet Union, she managed to tell about the problems of repressed families and women. "Under One Sky," "Some Interviews On Personal Matters,” "Day is Longer Than Night," "When the Almond Blossomed" – these are her films that talk about gender problems, the Soviet Union and the moral and ethical criteria degraded by it.

Lana Ghoghoberidze is a "cult author" for the new generation. After her return to Georgia, the director is more popular today than ever but especially because of her personal qualities, civic positions and political activities. Unfortunately, the new generation neither loves nor knows Georgian cinema. Why? This is another issue. It is a fact that even today Lana Ghoghoberidze’s any activity, every work of hers becomes the subject of public interest.

The title of her film “The Golden Thread” (2019) leads to an associatively mythical world: the golden threads of the fate of the Moirai and the golden thread of Ariadne tied to free herself from the labyrinth. Both myths, in a way, resonate with the plot of this film – characters lost in memories are trying to get out of this labyrinth, as if through a golden thread, but only one of them succeeds.

How does society shape a person's inner world, his destiny? By what mechanisms does it try to change the individual and subjugate him? To what extent do epochal changes, socio-political environment determine the nature of a person? These topics typical of Lana Ghoghoberidze's work continue in this film.

The film tells about the adventures of two women of completely different ages, Elene and Miranda. They lived in the Soviet Union with different interests and values, two conflicting, radically different lifestyles. They lived as their country lived, which, like the past, was lost somewhere in infinity.

Lana Ghoghoberidze offers a characterization of three generations: the older generation – the elderly of the Soviet era, the middle generation, whose members appear in fragments (their characterization emphasizes the active rhythm of life, which does not allow communication with relatives) and the future generation – the child, who appears in several episodes and leaves a very artificial impression, that of a teenager "coming out" from another era.

Elene is a different-minded, spiritually free Soviet woman writer who, trapped between four walls due to illness, locked in her micro-house, tries to understand the past and the present in a philosophical way. The relationship with her son and her family, the inhabitants of the communal neighborhood, is her only means of contact with the outside world. The limitation of the outer area further encourages Elene to lock herself in her own world. In this idyllic environment, a new character suddenly appears – Elene's antipode, Miranda, and an old admirer, who, like these two old characters, is locked in her house due to illness and tries to awaken her memories. The whole story is built on the relationship among these characters. The main topic and idea of the whole movie is understood through the dialogue of the characters.

In the film, the story of a man in love is very linear, constantly reminiscing about Elene and his romantic love adventure. He is limited to the demonstration of nostalgic feelings and seems to be talking to his imagination. For some reason, while watching these episodes, Niko Lortkipanidze's story "The Old People" floats to the surface, the structure of which is based on the memories of an old husband and wife, "do you remember" – these words is the beginning of a new story, which is remembered by the old people who are left alone. The romantic story of the couple flashes before the reader's eyes, as if with one breath. The characters of Lana Ghoghoberidze's film also often use the words "do you remember" and they seem to be trying to restore and rekindle a forgotten, once unending love relationship. However, these memories are very artificial and banal.

"My God, what a well-constructed country they destroyed!" – this phrase, repeated many times in reality and uttered by Miranda, expresses her worry, protest and reproach at the same time. For her, the Soviet reality, the material well-being granted by it, the full feeling of power and, at the same time, slavish loyalty are an acceptable way of life. She does not want and cannot accept the modern world where they live "ideologically wrong."

Miranda is a representative of the power-loving, strong Soviet nomenclature. All the stereotypes associated with this type of woman are gathered in her: women without a personal life, power-hungry and career-oriented, who do not care about other people's fortunes. Elene and Miranda represent people of different mentality, lifestyle and outlook, who were brought together by the irony of fate and, as the film shows, even turned them into enemies. The Soviet mentality is so ingrained in Miranda that illness leaves only the memories of that era. To see that reality, familiar environment and people, she heads for the streets of modern Tbilisi and in the ruins of the building of the so-called "Stalin era" she says goodbye to her life, since her existence loses its meaning in the new environment, just like the character of Maya in Lana Ghogoberidze's film, "Under One Sky." As a result of revolutionary events, she also loses her family, social status, loved ones and decides to leave this world.

Although the narrative revolves around the character of Elene, she becomes an observer and assessor of the outside world, still the character of Miranda causes more interest in the film due to the variety of her character traits, accurate accents, internal development of the character. This might be due to the contrast created when non-professional and professional actors work side by side.

I cannot say that "The Golden Thread" is Lana Ghogoberidze's best film. It can be said that this is one of her weakest works, but still the director was able to put interesting accents in this "slack" rhythm and environment, to bring to the fore the features characteristic of the Soviet mentality.

Maya Levanidze

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