Beyond the "Horizon"

There was a time when only a few women directors made films in the world cinema as well as in the Georgian cinema. Film directing, quite unreasonably, used to be considered more of a men's job. In today's Georgian cinema, many female filmmakers are indeed successful. In most of their films, the main characters are women, the world revolves around them with daily problems and not only.

This time, the main character of Tinatin Kajrishvili's film "Horizon" (2018) is a man and only a female filmmaker might have been so honest and subtle in presenting the spiritual world of people, to bring the tragedy that captured the young man Gio. With his love story, the authors of the film (screenwriters: Tinatin Kajrishvili and Dato Chubinishvili) make us think about the main values.

Moral-ethical and social problems related to marital relations are a constant topic of daily news media: violent men, broken families, orphaned children, and therefore, their distorted future, but, as they say, "there is the other side of the coin." It is this aspect that interests the film director, the man’s fate whose family life is destroyed and to the question: "Do you have a family?" his answer is – "I don't know!"

At the beginning of the film, Gio is in a state of uncertainty. He only knows that he is not well, and throughout the film we can see that this is not a momentary situation, though this is his life, with which he can do nothing, cannot change it because he lost his beloved woman. He (Giorgi Bochorishvili) and Ana (Ia Sukhitashvili) separated, lost each other in time and space. Anna's love ended, but Gio’s did not. Why did the husband and wife become alienated? The authors of the film ignored the "revelation" of this reason. This can be controversial. There might be those who do not share this position and I favor it, as it is insignificant to look for reasons, but we find that the separation happened at Ana's demand or request, although Ana does not hate Gio, she is not going to break contact with her ex-husband during the second marriage. He still has to take the children swimming, collect them from school, Ana will continue to take care of Gio, it's just that her love has "changed color": "I love you, Gio, as a relative, a member of the family!"

Who is Gio? Why do we sympathize with him? We learn about his professional dignity and honesty when he refuses to wrongly renovate the old entrance hall, to remove the painting, to make a radical change. So true is he in love too. There is no other woman for him, he is loyal only to his ex-wife, he gets his friend sculpt Ana's face, the artist will create Anna's portrait from the photo he carries in his breast pocket. Giorgi Bochorishvili's manner of playing, the minimalism of expressing emotions may be controversial, but it is dramaturgically justified.

Gio and Ana's children’s (two sons) attitude towards their parents’ separation is not a matter of special interest. All we know is that they are confused, they didn't understand why Niko gave his mother a ring instead of flowers for her birthday. Neither mother nor father reveal the truth to the teenagers (probably before moving into Niko's house). The reason for Ana's choice could have been more accurately and clearly revealed in the relationship with her children because this character is inconsistent in different episodes of the film, as if she is "playing" with her ex-husband and her fiancé, unable to give up on any of them. In general, we do not learn anything about Niko (Sergo Buiglishvili). An imposing man dressed differently from Gio offers his fiancee's ex-husband cognac and to watch a football match together. This is just a minor fact to get to know the "noble" rival. Perhaps Niko's personal qualities led to Ana's choice in his favor, she felt more comfortable next to him? A guess remains a guess.

The main part of the film is set on Paliastomi lake and island. The outstanding work of cameraman Irakli Akhalkatsi is worth mentioning here. His shot landscapes add more drama to the story.

The outcasts on the island, which Gio joined, have their own tragic adventures: Jano’s (Jano Izoria) wife left him, Valiko (Soso Gogichaishvili) and Larisa (Nana Datunashvili) are single, they worked in a hunter's house and stayed on the island, Marika (Lika Okroshidze) has neither home nor anybody around. These people stand by each other, live as one family, are each other's hope, but still struggle with contact with the outside world; when Larisa's relatives forget her and do not take her to her niece's wedding, this thread is broken, a seemingly insignificant fact turns into a tragedy. Larisa dies, and her death causes tension in Valiko. Larisa wrecked her hope in her relatives, Valiko's hope was Larisa, and she also died.

Gio was also finally broken when at Ana’s arrival, he thought that the wait was over, that he returned to his beloved woman and happiness. It turns out that Ana registers her marriage with the desirable man and has come to tell this. And then there's her phone call that she's already moved in with Niko, the kids, and rented out their apartment... That's it! There was no more hope for Gio and he died silently, he didn't ask anyone for help, death was the only solution for him. He died with love and for love.

When heroes die for love in old novels, no one is surprised, but in a modern movie? The virtue of this movie is that you believe and sympathize, it captures you with soul-stirring sadness. The authors of the film could have put a full stop here, but the unexpected finale, the prerequisite of which was not specially created for us, added intensity to the film and introduced a new effective move.

Arriving on the island because of Gio's death, Ana and Gio's friend, Sandro, witnesses a strange fact. This is Marika's confession about Gio: "He was fine, nothing bothered him, we were going to register our marriage soon, we had so many plans, he was going to build a house... He was happy to be here, he went hunting, fishing, how happy we were! He entrusted me like this, “if I die, bury me here..."

Sandro doesn't believe that Gio wanted to stay there, and Ana is relieved that Gio was finally happy because she feels guilty for her ex-husband's death, so she leaves the island with a guilty conscience, a portrait that Gio gave her and the shells she collected for her children. Marika is left with her lie, which she turned into a dream. Gio was the hope of her new life. She, like others, lost hope that appeared on the horizon and disappeared...

Nana Tutberidze

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