The best documentaries can amaze and move you, and some leave you in stunned silence at the beauty of what you have just seen. Tinatin Gurchiani’s The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear does all of these things.
Halfway through this feature I realized exactly what it was. It’s your grandmother’s patchwork quilt, some pieces are worn through and threadbare from love, others are coarse and weathered, and yet seen as a whole it it was always more than just a blanket to keep you warm, it was emblematic of life itself, with those pieces coming together to form a beautiful whole.
That is what this film is.
Filmed over the course of 20 days for a budget barely scraping $20,000, Gurchiani gives the world a look at the youth and people of the country of Georgia.
Holding an open casting call for people 15 to 25, Tinatin sits back, and watches the people come in, questioning them on camera about their dreams and hopes, and what would make them uniquely suited to be in a movie.
There are sad people, happy people, damaged, and naive, all of them weaving to form that blanket that portrays their humanity. There is a 13 year old boy who dreams of making it big, while tending to his mother and his injured father. A young bride on the way to her own wedding who sees a chance for more, a young governor, a man who’s brother is in prison for another 17 years and is trying to keep the hope alive for his release, a young woman who has come to the city for a better education, and a young woman who wants to know why her mother abandoned her and her father (the film’s most amazing sequence, and one everyone wanted to ask about in the Q&A afterwards).
Hope is a wellspring in humanity, and even in some of these life tales, which can be heart-wrenching to watch in this slice-of-life doc, there seems to akways be hope… though the final casting tape is rather depressed and fatalistic.
For a first-time filmmaker, Gurchiani has crafted an amazing and engaging film, one that kept the audience in silence until the final credit had crawled off the screen before erupting into applause.
This one you should not miss, and add it to the top of your list of things to see at this festival! It is simply gorgeous, the people, the stories, the landscapes. It is a film that takes its time, never rushing through its narrative, letting you see Georgia and her inhabitants as they are.
Nothing short of stunning.
This one screens again on Monday April 29 at 8:45pm at the Rom, and Thursday May 2 at 6pm at Scotiabank.