Dariko and her cameraman Khaka are the driving force behind a local television station in a small Georgian municipality. They lovingly report on the events in the area, such as a rare species of owl being caught, a fashion show or a funeral. And they provide a platform for a TV debate in the run-up to the local elections.
In this observational tragicomic documentary, everything seems to revolve around presentation and representation. We follow the work of two local television reporters who are reporting on local events with limited resources but a great deal of passion. Meanwhile, there is an important role for a local venue where musical performances, fashion shows and election debates are held. We are also present at a wedding and a funeral, and we can see how older residents of the community are lodging a complaint with the authorities.
While the television reporters try to create the most honest and accurate portrayal of their environment, they have no control over what the camera of the filmmaker documents. By zooming in on small events, director Salomé Jashi tells a bigger story about a country in transition. She does so very cleverly: by using an observational style, she adopts a detached position, which seems as if she only wants to show events without passing judgement. But at the same time, it becomes clear that the filmmaker is most definitely making a statement by choosing what to show and what not to show. The filmmaker’s freedom of choice is not appreciated in the same way by each government, as becomes clear in the remarkable final scene of the film. It emphasises the importance of freedom of the press, worldwide.
Text: Annika Wubbolt