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FNC 2013: ‘In Bloom’ is a haunting coming-of-age story not to be missed

FNC 2013: ‘In Bloom’ is a haunting coming-of-age story not to be missed

In Bloom

In Bloom

Directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross

Georgia/Germany/France, 2013

In Bloom is an honest and troubling tale of the passage into womanhood entrenched in poverty and persecution. Set in the capital city of Tbilisi, Georgia right after the fall of the Soviet Union, In Bloom follows the story of two 14-year old girls, Eka (Lika Babluani) and Natia (Mariam Bokeria), and the daily oppression they must endure. Playing in the Compétition Internationale section of the 42nd Festival du nouveau cinema, it is the first feature from filmmakers Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross.

The film centers around the women in the film, not only the two main characters, but also their mothers, Natia’s grandmother, Eka’s older sister, and the many other girls and women they come across during their day-to-day routines. From the opening shot onward, the camera lingers on the faces of these characters, watching them silently and intently, almost in wait for the moment when they collapse and come undone at the seams. Each woman has her own cross to bear, yet despite this, remains as strong as she is allowed to, taking small victories when and where she can find them. Throughout their daily paths, these women find difficulties awaiting them around every corner (in one case, under an overpass), but they don’t let the stones being thrown at them sting too hard; life is far too short to dwell on the hurt.

In Bloom is a strong film on almost all levels. The acting is hauntingly good, the script rich and thoughtful, and the cinematography exquisite. One of the most compelling and intoxicating scenes is that of the wedding reception, where an emotional Eka makes her way to the center of the crowded room and performs a traditional dance while the guests cheer her on. During this moment, it is understood how so like prisoners these women are. As Eka dances with short, precise movements, she never raises her sad eyes to the crowd. The dance is ceremonial, rebellious as well as a rite of passage.

With its muted color palette and heavily confined mise-en-scene, In Bloom does wonders with its depiction of traditional patriarchal ideals clashing with contemporary social concerns and how this young female generation must quickly learn to weave amongst the two to survive. Although set in 1992 during civil war strife, the image the film portrays is an accurate one that remains painful even in present day.

-Trish Ferris

2013fnc

– Ricky D

The Festival du Nouveau Cinema runs from October 9 to October 20, 2013. For a complete schedule of films, screening times, and ticket information, please visit their official site.

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