Little Man, Time and the Troubadour

Ineke Smits

IFFR 2020

  • 104'
  • Netherlands
  • 2019

The troubadour in the title is artist Sipa Labakhua, who travels the land of his birth, Abkhazia, with his puppet theatre. The autobiographical, at times almost surrealist play he performs is based on the fate of his father, his hero. He was an idealistic politician who was forced by the war with Georgia to flee with his family to Moscow, where he couldn't find his niche. Now, his son has returned home. He shares his concerns with his audiences and meets local inhabitants. Driven by the questions "What makes a country? What is home?", he collects memories and reflections of a colourful community that includes nationalist Abkhazians, immigrants and artists.

Labakhua developed the libretto for his play with director Ineke Smits, who has previously shown her love for this region. The play is the starting point for a poetic road movie with song and imagination, nostalgia and wonder. "Look, we're talking. Things are improving", someone says after seeing the puppet play.

During the festival main protagonist and Abkhazian artist Sipa Labakhua will perform his object theatre at podium ocw. Part of RTM, the Rotterdam selection.

Ineke Smits
Countries of production
Netherlands, Belgium
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2020
Original title
De kleine man, tijd en de troubadour
English, Russian, Arabic, Abkhazian, Georgian
Ineke Kanters, Jan van der Zanden
Production Company
The Film Kitchen
Deckert Distribution
Ineke Smits
Piotr Rosolowski
Katarina Türler
Sound Design
Senjan Jansen
Walter Hus
Local Distributor
MOOOV Film Distribution The Netherlands