MZIS QALAQI CITY OF THE SUN
Electrical twitching. Specks of light in the darkness. The howl of sirens. A tunnel in a Georgian mine. One of the miners is using this space beyond the reach of the sun to indulge his passion for the theatre. Shortly thereafter comes the cracking and crashing of smashed stone. A music teacher works away at the brickwork of abandoned industrial buildings, suspended at dizzying heights, in order to get at their metal skeletons. Finally, the harsh echo of barked orders in the vast expanse of a stadium. Two sisters who have dedicated their slender bodies to competitive athletics. CITY OF THE SUN is full of individuals who are giving everything they’ve got and more. Living a silent, unwavering spirit of defiance, a sort of stoic now-more-than-ever. This willingness to risk intensity can also be found in the film’s stylistic approach. Often enough the image is framed once more within the wider frame, fitted to a background. The outlines of figures in a half-open doorway; dancing children, swallowed up by concrete and spat out again; the head of a cow, expelling its last breaths from within its future grave. A grim inescapability lies at the heart of this profoundly stylised document, along with a menace that is hard to place, fuelled by the droning and hammering of machines. The noise of arduous day labour meets electronic soundscapes and traditional songs. At times the camera lingers in a static pose, then it races after people, full of curiosity, or glides in majestic aerial views of the goings-on below. Transcendence is a question of perspective.
Born in Tiflis in 1977. Lived five years in New York, before returning to Georgia in 2014 to realise the documentary film MZIS QALAQI / CITY OF THE SUN. He studied Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations at the Free University of Tiflis and Columbia University in New York City and is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy. His short films INVISIBLE SPACES and LETHE were produced by Oneli and celebrated their premieres in Cannes. MZIS QALAQI / CITY OF THE SUN is his first full-length documentary film.
2011 / THEO (short)2012 // LEITMOTIF (short)2017 // MZIS QALAQI / CITY OF THE SUN (doc)
Georgia, USA, Qatar, The Netherlands 2017
104 min, DCP, colour
OV with English Subs