Thursday, October 30, 2008

My towed box

As my car was sitting on the back of a bigger car, I was sitting in front, in that bigger car, next to a thin talkative driver smoking a cigarette without putting ashes away. The seat was stinky, to be honest, and I had my window open and my ear covered with scarf not to get cold as we drove the embankment. There was this large car mirror reflecting me. And I was thinking that the hardest thing to film, is to film myself.

While my car was being fixed, I had a chance to walk. Today I realised that I had been closed in this four wheel box and today I saw people. In that underground I crossed, everything was the way I had last seen several years ago. The same kind of high heel, up to the knee black boots were being sold. The same kind of characters, the same stereotypical beggars. If it were winter, it would have been more the same, because winter is the most vivid feeling I remember from years ago.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gori - August 10-12, 2008

She was smoking a cigarette very intensely. She called me. Said that their doctor was shot last night and his blood is now covered with those tree branches.

The military hospital was full the day before. That day it was only several pairs of military boots left behind and mattresses had blood stains.
Visiting that hospital on August 10th
was my first impression on war. The yard was full of doctors, soldiers and priests. There was this woman who was crying continuously asking for her son, whom she had not heard anything about for three days. I refused to go into the morgue but I could smell it.
Doctors seemed extremely tired. They told stories that could not correspond to their gestures and face expression. They spoke of things so much beyond visualizing.

We found several ID cards in the burnt down tank. And I met a young man later who had seen people burning in this car. This was very close to Gori, on the main road on August 12th. That day abandoned military vehicles were scattered on this road turned towards Tbilisi - a sign of surrender.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Close to Tskhinvali

I passed Gori yesterday. The apartment blocks that had been bombed were almost fully renovated. Some apartments that were completely destroyed and those that were damaged, all looked the same. Crumbling wooden windows were replaced with modern sound proof ones. The shop nearby that had been damaged, was also rebuilt as well as a house across the road. No physical trace of war there. These apartment blocks stand straight on the main road leading to Tbilisi.

Then we went north towards the villages. I saw part of Kvemo Nikozi and couple villages around it. From there Tskhinvali is so close you can actually see part of it - couple apartment blocks and factory chimney. This looks so strange, being so visible and so hostile. So close and so far away at the same time. From both sides. It's all about the people. Ethnicities have nothing to do about it. It's about how people understand the world.

Unlike Eredvi, Tkhviavi and some villages there, the damage is not huge in these several villages I saw south-west to Tskhinvali. Some houses are burnt down but not very many. Most of the houses were apparently robbed. We saw two locations where they were unmining the land. I heard a sound of explosion and that was of one of the mines. They seem to be everywhere.

One house we saw in one of the villages there belonged to a military doctor. That was the reason for burning it down - they say in the village. An old woman now sleeping on the survived balcony said she was promised her house would be rebuilt by December. Before that she was offered no shelter.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Speechless. aka Silent Faces. aka dadumomebuli. aka i don't know yet

“Speechless” is the working title of one of the 9 documentary shorts filmed in the framework of the project “10 minutes of Democracy”. Film director Salome Jashi has finished the production stage of her experimental short. 10 minute long documentary is an experiment with human faces. Can silent faces tell stories of horror that these people have gone through…

The film is an attempt to tell the story of the tragedy that cannot be expressed through words or dramatic images. Or it might be just a space -10 minutes of silent space that the author provides us to think about our own account of the terrible 5 days of war.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monopoly on truth

Looking back in my notes I found an expression a friend of mine once used: "monopoly on truth".

Some individuals, moreover, some institutions claim they have monopoly on truth. The church obviously claims monopoly on truth. People who follow the church in Georgia also claim this truth, relyin to their inspirer church. The political idology preached in Georgia also claims monopoly on truth and those high position officials, including the very high one, claim absolute monopoly on truth.

These "thruth"s intersect and while the civil monopoly on truth is weaker than the religion one in terms of followers, Georgia is an informal theocratic country eventually approved by mrevli (church followers), representing majority of 'the electorate'. During, rather right after the war, the church appeared to be much more effective than the government gaining even more authority.

I remember watching TV those days and there was this woman in the church yard making this emotional, crazy statement: "I feel... I feel that St. Marry has not abandoned us" (ve vgrdznob... me vgrdznob rom chven ghvtismshobelma ra migvatova). And this was in the news.

Today I saw portrait of patriarch of Georgian orthodox church Ilia II on a laptop destop of one of the journalists.

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