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  • Greek Title Ήταν Ένας Τραγουδιστής Κότσυφας
  • English Title Once Upon A Time There Was A Singing Blackbird
  • Original Title იყო შაშვი მგალობელი
  • Year: 1971
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Country: USSR
  • Duration: 85'
  • Director: Otar losseliani
  • Scriptwriter: Otar Iosseliani, Dimitri Eristavi, Otar Mekhrishvili, Ilia Noussinov, Chermazan Kakichachvili, Semion Lounguine
  • Cinematography: Abessalom Maissouradze
  • Editing: Julietta Bezuashvili
  • Music / Score: Teïmouraz Bakouradze, Otar Gegechkori, Mikhaïl Nijaradze, Tenguiz Nanobachvili
  • Sound: Otar Gegechkori, Mikhaïl Nijaradze, Tenguiz Nanobachvili
  • Cast: Gela Kandelaki, Gogui Tckheidze, Djansoug Kakhidze, Irina Djandieri, Elena Landia, Robert Sturua, Irina Mdivani, Marina Kartsivadze, Nougzav Erkomaichvili, Irakli Kokrachvili
  • Production: Grouzia Film, Kartouli Filmi
  • Color: Black & White
  • Audio: Sound
  • Language: Georgian, Russian
  • Format: Μη διαθέσιμη πληροφορία
  • Subtitles: Greek
  • Print Source: Pastorale Productions, Hiventy

Gia is a young percussionist of an orchestra in Tbilisi and lives with his mother in an apartment. Contrary to the Soviet ethics of self-discipline and rigid time-management, Gia is idle and carefree, always flirting and being late to work. His friends and family think that he ought to be more responsible... The film was banned in 1971, not because it was politically poignant, but because, as cineaste Vasilis Rafailidis has said, the protagonist of this tragicomedy defies the alienating notions of organization and productivity. The film was screened in Cannes three years later, in 1974, as a signal of tolerance of the Soviet regime, was met with unanimous acceptance and made Iosseliani known to a wider audience.


Otar Iosseliani

Otar Iosseliani was born in 1934 in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he studied music composition, conducting and piano. In 1953 he went to Moscow to study mathematics, but in two years he quit and entered the State Film Institute where his teacher was among others, Alexander Dovzhenko. While still a student in film direction, he began working in Tbilisi, first as an assistant director and then as an editor of documentaries. When his medium-length film “Aprili” (1961) was denied theatrical distribution, Iosseliani abandoned filmmaking and in 1963-1965 worked first as a sailor on a fishing boat and then at a metallurgical factory. When his 1976 film “Pastorali"" was shelved for a few years and then granted only a limited distribution, Iosseliani grew skeptical about getting any artistic freedom in his homeland. In 1984 he moved to France where he made “Favorites Of The Moon”. The film was distinguished with a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. His films have been presented in major film festivals and have won major prizes.

Watch the film online here


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