Tangerines (2014) - Zaza Urushadze
Taking place in 1990, during the Abkhazian War in Georgia, Two villagers - Ivo, an old man and his neighbour,Markus- are the only ones that haven't left their homes. They stay to harvest their tangerine plantation, with Ivo agreeing to help the persistent Markus. As the war gets closer and closer, Ivo and Markus find two surivivors on the battlefield - Akhmed, a Chechen, and Niki, a Georgian - two men on opposites sides of the conflict. Ivo takes both men into his home, soon discovering that he must resolve his own war between the two enemies living under his house. Zaza Urushadze's Tangerines is an extremely powerful evocation of war, caputring the stupidity and collateral damage that violence brings witch such a simple, poignant story. The film unfolds naturally never giving the viewer much abou the background of Ivo but it is clear he is a man with sorrow in his eyes. He sees death all around him, heartbroken due to the many men who have died over the years in various conflicts. Tangerines argues that men on both sides of most conflicts are no different than any other, both simply good men doing what they belive is the right thing. The film showcases how these conflicts easily give men the right to kill, capturing the simplicity of taking something as precious as human life. The film argues that importance of human life over all else, arguing that war, in most cases, specifically this war, only causes death, stripping away all that makes life precious. One of the very best films of the year, Zaza Urushadze's Tangerines is an extremely powerful human experience, that uses a beautifully poignant ending to capture the short-sighted nature of most military conflict.
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