Posted: 2 months ago

A Comment - Experimental Film Screening at Rooms Hotel Tbilisi on April 9

A Comment is an experimental film by Soso Dumbadze that touches upon modernity, a problem that has been defined as “The Tbilisi War” at certain point – and has not left our side ever since.
"The modern history of Georgia evolves in a rather rapid and radical manner, leaving absolutely no room for analysis and reevaluation of some significant political events. Indeed, reflection on past is an inevitable prerequisite for evolving democratic society.
30 years have passed since the Georgian Civil War came to an end in 1992. Despite this historical event playing a vital role in continuously polarizing Georgian society, it has not yet been properly rethought. This opposition has formed Georgian community and even defined the ultimate flow of Georgian politics. This war can even be thought of as a starting point of a youthful Georgian democracy, constantly reflecting the dilemma of modernity. Current processes have changed their forms but the essence mimics Georgian Civil War: conceptual dichotomies are usually directed towards eliminating and destroying opposing notions, instead of focusing on finding consensus or a common ground."
A Comment is made up of found footage from the cafeteria (so-called bunker) of governmental palace in Tbilisi, depicting supporters of the president Zviad Gamsakhurdia. These videoclips are narrated by Zurab Petriashvili (1950) who was a football commentator in that period of time and has spent a lot of time in the cafeteria himself – recollecting events in a political or even a banal context. Mythologized images of the film are further rationalized by verbal formulation and adaptation. Those are disenchanted via demolishing the icons of a collective memory.
The premiere will be followed by an Imitated Trial including authentic participants of the historical event in focus and the following individuals:
Zurab Petriashvili – a football coach and a former commentator who has spent a lot of time with supporters of Zviad Gamsakhurdia in the cafeteria (>> bunker <<) during the Georgian Civil War.
Irina Sarishvili – a politician, opposing Zviad Gamsakhurdia;
Natia Gloveli – a lawyer, mediator;
Lika Lekishvili – a moderator from;
Soso Dumbadze – the author.
The structure of the project is defined by author beforehand; however, questions from participants are not pre-formulated. Imitated Trial does not involve restrictions, it is an open-ended, undetermined process – this will guarantee to grow an artistic form into an authentic political articulation.
A few videoclips will be shown during an Imitated Trial as respective evidences.
The last stage will include Q&A session with our guests.
Both, the experimental film, A Comment, and an Imitated Trial will also be delivered in English.
The event will be held at Rooms Hotel Tbilisi, Garden Hall; 14 Merab Kostava Street.
The entrance is free of charge.

Soso Dumbadze (1981) lives in Cologne, works in Cologne and Tbilisi. He studied film and media arts at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (2011). His PhD project at University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (2020), deals with Georgian-Russian avant-garde cinema with focus on the political essay film. Since 2021, Dumbadze has been a professor at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA).

Dumbadze’s works were presented at The Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany (the Bundeskunsthalle), Art Cologne, New Talents – Biennale, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin and others. His video installation »The Parallel« (2012), which analyzed the media representations of power on the example of the inaugurations of presidents Saakashvili and Putin, was acquired by the Culture Department of the City of Cologne, under the curatorship of Dr. Barbara Engelbach from the Ludwig Museum (Cologne). The video installation »A Yellow Bus« (2017) addressing homophobia in Georgia using materials depicting the events of May 17, 2013 in Tbilisi was also presented in Tbilisi and had to be guarded by about 200 policemen. His diploma film »Sunny Night« (2017, co-directed with Lea Hartlaub) about the Georgian Orthodox Church and its power within the political landscape of Georgia premiered at Dok-Leipzig Festival.

In Tbilisi, Dumbadze organizes film seminars with participation of international speakers. In 2006 Soso Dumbadze founded »Sazogadoebrivi Gamomtsemloba Sa.Ga.« (»Publishing for Society«), which has published 19 books, including works by authors such as Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno, Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, Pier Paolo Pasolini, as well as authors from contemporary art like Harun Farocki, Chris Marker and others. Soso Dumbadze delivered presentations of his monograph »Kote Mikaberidze« (in English 2018, co-authored with Nino Dzandzava) at the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), German Film Museum (Frankfurt), Frankfurt Book Fair, etc.