Corn Island

This award-winning drama, "Simindis kundzuli" (English captions) was submitted to the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival from Georgia. As directed by George Ovashvili, we watch the overwhelming rhythms of a river that control the lives of people who rely on its temporary islands for summer crops (these are created in the river as rocks, tree limbs and silt accumulate during flooding). The islands sit in a wide river between two countries, and "belong to the one who put them there."

This wonderful film has already been honored by numerous awards. They include 21 wins at film festivals all over the world, along with 6 more nominations. I wanted to list them, but it would take far too much space!

We see:
  • Ilyas Salman as The Old Man, and a harder-working fellow you will never see on screen. The amount of labor he and his grand- daughter must do is daunting!
  • Mariam Buturishvili as The Girl, who seems to mature before our very eyes. By the time she pulls a flirtatious little stunt, she is very much a young woman.
  • Irakli Samushia as The Soldier. Once you have saved someone's life, you feel a certain urge to protect that person....
All told, I doubt if 100 words are spoken in this entire film... Tops! And that includes when the military drops by for some wine. We go ten minutes at a time between one or two little exchanges. In fact, I was beginning to despair before a bit of story began to form. The key plot points are completely wordless.

I won't tell you how I think it ends. Discussions after the screening showed me that we all had our own interpretations and each of us was very happy with our own. You won't see another film like this for a long, long time.