The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear
Directed by Tinatin Gurchiani
The story begins with an experiment. A filmmaker in the country of Georgia posts an ad inviting youth to audition for her film. Facing the camera, the hopefuls confess their struggles and dreams. These raw interviews unfold seamlessly into cinematic slivers of Georgian life.
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★★★½ review by C.J. on Letterboxd
In the Q&A afterward, the director said that she only had 20 shooting days and a budget of $20,000 to make the film. This fact is astounding when you see the cinematography and direction in the film, but the short amount of time it took to shoot shows.
The concept is that director Tinatin Gurchiani held a casting call for young people in Georgia who would share their life story. We see the 'auditions' each subject makes, with Gurchiani following several people back to their homes to film their everday lives.
I feel like if there was more time put into the film it could have been much better. Some of these stories just weren't very interesting, or didn't feel like they delved too much beyond the surface. For that reason the structure feels hit or miss, so if one story isn't too good you just have to wait for the next one to start.
But when Gurchiani actually does find someone worth pursuing the results are fantastic. The segments that bookend the film, involving a boy's father going away for surgery and a woman reuniting with her estranged mother, are riveting to watch. Another person, a 25 year old man running a village made up entirely of seniors, could work on its own as a great short film.
The fact that Gurchiani was able to capture these kinds of moments in her short time is remarkable enough on its own. If there were more parts like it this could have been a masterpiece, but nonetheless it's still a fascinating portrait of modern-day Georgia
★★★½ review by Kathie Smith on Letterboxd
(Big Ragtag) True/False Film Festival
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