In Bloom (2013)
The story of the friendship of two teenage girls unfolds against the background of the difficult political events in Georgia in the 1990s. In the wake of injustice and violence, they try to save themselves and help each other.
20th century, Georgia of the 1990s.
- After the Russian Revolution (1917), The Democratic Republic of Georgia was established (1918-1921), which soon become a victim to the Bolshevik regime, becoming part of the Soviet Union in 1922. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia restored its independence in 1991.
- On October 28, 1990, the first democratic parliamentary elections were held in Georgia. The bparty: “Round Table – Free Georgia” led by Zviad Gamsakhurdia won. On March 31, 1991, a referendum was held in Georgia, on the question “Do you want to restore independence of the Republic of Georgia on the basis of the Act of May 26, 1918”? 98 % of the population answered in the affirmative. Based on the referendum, on April 9, 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia adopted the “Act on Restoration of State Independence of Georgia”.
- Zviad Gamsakhurdia won the first presidential election on May 26, 1991. A military coup began in Tbilisi in 1991, and on January 6, 1992, President Gamsakhurdia left Georgia. Eduard Shevardnadze became the president of the military council and became the president of the country.
- By the end of the Soviet era, the country had struggled to gain independence. Georgia sought self-determination, self-identification, and “understanding” of independence against the backdrop of a difficult social and economic situation.
- Film takes us back to Tbilisi of 1990s. Director and screenwriter Nana Ekvtimishvili depicts autobiographical passages in “In Bloom”, the film reflects the real stories and events of her childhood.
- The world premiere of “In Bloom” took place in 2013 at the 63rd Berlin Film Festival and was awarded the Prize of the International Confederation of Art Cinema. In the same year, Georgia nominated “In Bloom” for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.
- The film by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross was called a new wave of Georgian cinema at the Berlin Film Festival. The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) called it a model for the revival of Georgian cinema
- How does director reflect the difficult political, social and economic background of Georgia in 1990s?
- “In Bloom” depicts the Tbilisi of the 1990s, how can we compare the events depicted in the film with the situation in the country in general at that time?
- Violence, fear, the endless chain of injustice dominates everywhere, be it the family, the school-classroom or the streets, the space that was an unconditional alternative to socialization in Tbilisi in the 1990s. Where and in what form do young people find themselves?
- Natia lives in a difficult environment with her abusive father, abused mother, younger brother and grandmother, while Eka is in a “silent conflict” with her older sister and single mother. To what extent can we consider their friendship as a means of self-preservation?
- Eka and Kopla have a tense relationship, the boy is aggressive towards Eka. Natia gives Eka a weapon to protect herself from the aggressor, Eka uses this “gift” from her friend to protect her “enemy” again! Why do you think a girl behaves like that? Do we see the real reason for the secret confrontation between Copla and Eka from the film?
- Natia is a teenage girl who becomes the wife of a person she does not love and it can be said that she does not know her well. Still, parents organize wedding where everyone is happy except Eka. What does the dance performed by Eka at her friend’s wedding mean? ”
- Think about the title of the movie, why is it called “In Bloom”?
- Would the overall dramatic flow of the film have changed, if main characters, instead of girls, were boys?
Write about this film
Given the epoch-making contexts and issues raised by the discussion, focus on the general social background while writing about the film. What a reality teenage girls have to establish themselves when power and authority are in the hands of men! How difficult is it for a woman in the patriarchal culture and society of the 1990s to express her free will or even maintain healthy relationships? Instead of revenge, the girls throw their weapons (symbol of violence and masculine society) into the water. Think about what this action express. How much does the patriarchal society take into account the desire and opinion of a women? In which episodes of the film are the issues listed above reflected? Try to find parallels with European cinema: in European countries, considering background of socio-political changes, how the lives of men and women have evolved. We recommend you to watch the film “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days” by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu.
For Individual work
Protagonist 14-year-old girl becomes the wife of an unknown man. Her childhood finished and it is normal for the society, her family, parents. Considering the epoch-making, cultural contexts, think about which country’s cultures Georgia is close to: in the context of early marriage. What positive changes have taken place in terms of women rights at the institutional level in modern Georgia.
Curriculum links: History, Civic Education.
Violence, fear, injustice are an integral part of all institutions, be it family, school, street… Protagonists are in the age when the relationship with the parents is already difficult. Parents do not listen to their children often, for the child-the parent loses authority! Family conflict in the film is a kind of allusion to the civil strife in the country, a cascade of violence and disorder, reflects the socio-political background of the country. During group work, reflect about and discuss why the country faced such a difficult situation in the 1990s, what was the heavy Soviet legacy gained with independence?
After discussion and group work, students can visualize the narrative material. Create a wall newspaper or presentation individually or in groups: After the collapse of the Soviet Union, how did the fate of its member states change, what was their development path from the 1990s to the present. Try to present the material in all directions: politics, economics, social background, culture, education.
Subjects for Discussion
As a result of watching the film, discussion and writing a review in which it is necessary to use epoch-making contexts and the above recommendations, the student will be more aware of political, social and economic background of Georgia in the 1990s. The role of adults and the new generation in this difficult process.