December 4, 2014, 4:00 p.m. — Susa (2010)
2010. Georgia. Directed by Rusudan Pirveli. With Avtandil Tetradze, Ekaterine Kobakhidze, Levan Lordkipanidze. With a lovely, unselfconscious performance by the young Tetradze in the titular role as Susa, the film traces daily life in a small community just outside town, where everyone is trying to get by—by hook or by crook. Susa’s mother is working at the illegal vodka distillery where he’s a delivery boy. It’s grueling work that involves hiding from the police and thugs, doing a little business in small bars and booths with drunks and prostitutes. One day Susa’s mother tells him that his father is returning and Susa’s optimism soars as he prepares himself for the better life to come. The film’s quietly observational style is enormously effective in establishing a fully realized environment of those left behind in the new capitalist Georgia, people who struggle economically but don’t necessarily lose their humanity in the process. In Georgian; English subtitles. 78 min.