Beginning

  • 126'
  • France
  • 2020

When extremists burn down the church of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s the last straw for Yana, wife of David, a congregational leader. She wants to leave rural Georgia, where she and her fellow believers have just started building a new community. But David waves off her fears as irrational over-sensitivity and goes to the council of elders to arrange money to rebuild their church. While he’s away, Yana is visited by a police officer who asks her some extremely intimate questions, making it clear to her that, as a woman, she can play no other role than suffering object.

Yet this rock-solid debut deals much more in female strength than in helplessness. Blatant, brutal violence is interspersed with scenes of painterly tranquility, as Yana’s heart almost visibly hardens. Knowing full well that she is legally, morally and emotionally signing her own death warrant, she decides to strike at the very roots of patriarchal society.

Also see Big Talk: Dea Kulumbegashvili & Nicolás Jaar. As part of Critics’ Choice VII: On Positionality, the on demand screening of Beginning will be preceded by a video essay from Beri Shalmashi.

Director
Dea Kulumbegashvili
Countries of production
France, Georgia
Production Year
2020
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
126'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Dasatskisi
Language
Georgian
Producers
Ilan Amouyal, David Zerat, Rati Oneli
Production Companies
First Picture, OFA
Sales
Wild Bunch
Screenplay
Dea Kulumbegashvili, Rati Oneli
Cinematography
Arseni Khachaturan
Editor
Matthieu Taponier
Production Design
Guram Navrozashvili
Sound Design
Séverin Favriau
Music
Nicolás Jaar
Cast
Ia Sukhitashvili, Rati Oneli, Kakha Kintsurashvili, Saba Gogichaishvili
Local Distributor
September Film