February 18, 2014

Tangerines (2013)

Tangerines (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Zaza Urushadze
Country: Georgia / Estonia

Movie Review: Zaza Urshede’s fifth feature film is a moralistic war drama that puts face-to-face Georgians, Abkhazians, and Estonians, during the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. Estonians Ivo and Margus are the only inhabitants of a piece of land fiercely disputed by the parts involved in the war. Their only concern is trying to pick up the maximum amount of tangerines they can, and do business while is possible. After a bloody shooting in front of their land, they were able to save two severely wounded young men, Ahmed, a Chechen mercenary with thirst for revenge, and Nika, a Georgian soldier who was formerly an actor in Tbilisi. Placed under the same roof, the two convalescents will promise to their savior they won’t try to kill each other while inside the house. Little by little the enemies start to open their minds while the appeasers Ivo and Margus were fighting another kind of battle that they call ‘citrus war’. At first, it seemed Ivo was hiding a big secret related to his granddaughter whose picture he proudly exhibited, but the reality was completely different. The film was nicely shot and directed, and undoubtedly well intentioned, conveying properly the idea that there are no villains in war and men are simply human beings, no matter which country they come from or religion they follow. However, the deep changes in the characters seemed too abrupt to form a perfectly credible scenario. The lucid and conscientious “Tangerines”, revealed some heart, soul, and even humor in bitter circumstances but needed more time to properly cook the morality that tries to convey.

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