Letters to Max
Abkhazia is a country no one knows and Max was its Foreign Minister. Eric, from Europe, sends letters questioning his friend about his weird country while Max replies on screen. But did their conversation really occur, or is it a case of an imaginary exchange?
When filmmaker Eric Baudelaire sent his first letter to Maxim Gvinjia, friend and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia, he was sure it would come back undelivered. Abkhazia may have seceded from Georgia after the Civil War in 1992-93, but it hasn’t been recognised by the United Nations. In fact, it doesn’t exist.
The letter did reach its destination, however, and formed the start of a lengthy correspondence: Baudelaire sent 74 letters and notes, while Maxim recorded his wide-ranging answers on tape.
Just as in his previous films, controversial stories and unanswered questions form the fuel in Letters to Max for a ‘journey’, whose destination is unknown at the beginning. The result is an extraordinary chronicle of a close friendship, interwoven with the unusual history (and beautiful, everyday images) of a stateless state, a country as real as it is imaginary, a space between different realities. With Critics' Talk on Tue 27-1 in the lobby of LantarenVenster