Corn Island

Corn Island

(Simindis kundzuli)
George Ovashvili / GE-D-F-CZ-KZ, 2014
Georgian version / Czech subtitles, 100 min

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The Inguri River forms a natural border dividing Georgia from Abkhazia. One of the spring floods has created a little island in the middle of the river, as if made for the cultivation of corn. At least, this is the belief of an old peasant, whose sunburned face resembles the landscape he has trodden for dozens of years. In his long-awaited new movie, the Georgian filmmaker finds a quiet companion in the old man, who carries out his work silently and with almost ritual deliberation; Ovashvili moves fluidly around his subjects, allowing Elemer Ragalyi’s camera to perform pure magic. Betraying an eye for scenic composition and practically without the use of dialogue, the director pieces together a crystal clear drama of the bond between man and nature. The captivating imagery is complemented by the protagonists’ intense expressions, which reflect apprehension the moment a border patrol boat approaches the island. Capturing the characters’ daily toil and minimal interaction in a fashion all its own, this psychological drama achieves a symbolic timelessness.

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