New life of our glory – ‘Father of a Soldier’
30 May, 2013
New life of our glory – ‘Father of a Soldier’
“During World War II, Georgi Makharashvili (actor Sergo Zakariadze), an old peasant vine-grower, leaves his Georgian village and goes off to the front lines to find his son – a wounded soldier…”
If you tell these words any Georgian man or a woman, even a child, they will stop you and say: ‘Yes, this is one of the biggest cinematographic masterpieces the Georgian people have ever created, and we are proud of it’. Why is this film so important to
the Georgian people and even to the entire world? I’m sure a question will arise – what I mean by the ‘entire world’.
In 2012, one of the most famous Hollywood studios transferred the 1964 black-and-white version of the Georgian film ‘Father of a Soldier’ into a colored one, but before this time-consuming work had been done, there was a three-year talk with the film director Rezo Chkheidze. Initially, the director didn’t agree. As he said, when he saw other black-and-white Soviet-made films which were converted into the colored version by this studio, he didn’t like the idea and thought that the experiment might cause the film lose its beauty. But after several shots, it become impressive and the cautious director had finally supported the endeavor. The production people have their studio in Bollywood, but talks were held with Georgia and Russia, so they settled for it in Moscow and begin the work. The premiere was held on the 10th of May on Channel One of the Russian television, and it was shown in 1080i HDTV version with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
Now let’s talk about the results of this interesting trial. Well, visually the film is absolutely amazing. All views, costumes and scenery were highly tinctured and polished. It might sound like a slight exaggeration to say that the colored version looks like a modern Hollywood war film (for example, Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’) but it is also a fact that this is true. On top of all that, acting itself has acquired more emotionality. Yes, amazingly so! The great Sergo Zakariadze (Giorgy Makharashvili) won a special award in 1965 at the Moscow International Film Festival for his brilliant performance.
It would not be very serious on my part to lavish the unwanted trivial praise on the great Georgian director’s contribution. We all know very well that Rezo Chkheidze is a genius and we all love his works. The world started appreciating him as early as in 1956, when his short film, ‘Magdana’s Donkey’ was shown at the Cannes Festival and won the award in the category of the Best Fiction Short Film, shared with another master of Georgian cinematography Tengiz Abuladze. It is also known to us that our beloved film director Rezo Chkheidze — although advanced in years — wants to create a movie of eleven series about Stalin. More than 60 years in the movie business, he is still in a good shape, always ready to work. Just take my advice and see this exciting and breathtaking, beautiful and important film of the year. And let us not forget that UNESCO has recognized the year of 2013 as the year of ‘The Father of a Soldier.
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