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Running Time: 15 minutes
Language: Georgian with English subtitles
Venue: Playhouse Theater [40 Main Street]
Cast: Soso Lagidze, Anzor Gvadzabia, Beka Lemonjava, Mariam Khachapuridze, Kakha Beridze
Showtime: Sunday, April 14, 2019 @ 12:00 PM
Director: George Sikharulidze
Description: Gori, Republic of Georgia, 2016: on the 63rd anniversary of Stalin's death, his worshipers gather outside of his birthplace to demand his canonization as a saint when out of nowhere Stalin himself returns from the dead.
The film is shot in the birthplace of Stalin, a little town of Gori in the heart of the Ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia, where recently, the WWII veterans and others started a movement demanding from the Orthodox Christian Church to canonize Stalin as a saint. This is not a joke! They completely deny Stalin’s crimes against humanity and paint icons of him with a halo and write prayers instead (just google “saint Stalin"); one of the extras in the film told me “Stalin is my second Christ.” I find this movement not only bizarre but fascinating and so as a , Georgian filmmaker,
I felt the need to express my feelings towards this situation, which enabled me to explore my own relationship to faith as a spiritual condition and test the extent to which it can drive people, who are nostalgically longing for the past while lacking a collective father figure in the present. But something else resonates in this renewed interest in Stalin today. One can undeniably see certain foundations or movements towards fascism and dictatorial regimes in places like Russia, Turkey, other parts of Europe and of course now in the United States as well. There’s something in the air and so this story felt all the more timely.
Screening with: Shorts Program
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