“A Tunnel” from Georgia, Germany opens out into Cinéma Vérité 

December 5, 2020 - 18:36

TEHRAN – “A Tunnel”, a documentary co-produced by Georgia and Germany, will be screened at the 14th edition of Cinéma Vérité, Iran’s major documentary film festival.

The film will go on screen in World’s Best, a section that will feature a selection of documentaries acclaimed at 2020 international events across the world.

Co-directed by Nino Orjonikidze and Vano Arsenishvili, the documentary is about a group of people that are working hard to extend a railroad in a remote Georgian mountain village. 

When they’re done, the new Silk Road Express will run through here. But before this high-speed connection between China and Europe can go anywhere, a tunnel has to be dug, a tunnel that goes right through a mountain where villagers have their fields and pastures.

In his office at the station, an old-time stationmaster prepares for his role in the future, when a lot more trains will be coming through the station.

There are promises of prosperity and progress, but in the dreamy atmosphere of the fairy-tale village, the coming of the express train feels more like a nightmare. 

With the rumbling in the mountain coming ever closer, the villagers look on impotently as the ground fractures and crumbles. Uncertainty is growing, because no one knows whether their houses are going to have to be knocked down or not.

Language and communication problems between the Georgian and Chinese workers lead to fierce arguments, and ultimately a tense strike. The gorgeous, disengaged shots perfectly reflect the surrealistic atmosphere of a changing world order.

“A Tunnel” won the award for best film by first or second-time director at the 11th edition of the MakeDox Creative Documentary Film Festival in North Macedonia in August.

This year’s Cinéma Vérité was first scheduled to be held from December 8 to 15. However, it was postponed for one week due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

“Tony Driver” by Italian filmmaker Ascanio Petrini, “Two Roads” by Czech director Radovan Sibrt and “Acasa, My Home” by Romanian filmmaker Radu Ciorniciuc have also been selected to be screened in the World’s Best section.

Due to the pandemic, Cinéma Vérité will be held entirely online and the international section of the event is non-competitive this year.

Over 20 films on COVID-19 by Iranian filmmakers will also be competing in the festival as the organizers intend to attract attention to this disastrous disease by this special category.

Photo: “A Tunnel” co-directed by Nino Orjonikidze and Vano Arsenishvili.


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