Tangerines (15)

Sep 28, 2016
Cranbrook Film Society

“A tremendous, old-fashioned anti war film, by turns touching, moving and suspenseful.”
Peter Bradshaw – Guardian.

An elderly tangerine farmer offers tense hospitality to two soldiers from opposing sides and keeps the peace through the force of his personality. Intelligent and insightful.

Zaza Urushadze | Estonia/Georgia | 2013 | 87 mins | 15


If the lesson about our similarities is obvious, the conclusion is unexpected and unforgettable.”
Brad Keefe – Columbus Alive

The story takes place in a small village in Abkhazia during the 1992/1993 war of independence
between Abkhazia and Georgia.

Two Estonian men (Ivo and Margus) have remained behind to tend to their tangerines so
that they can harvest the crop, sell it and return to Estonia for safety. Ivo is a carpenter and
Margus is the orchardist. Ivo makes the crates to transport the tangerines to market.

Fighting between the Georgian and Chechen soldiers erupts in their village. As the dead bodies
accumulate two survivors emerge…one a Chechen mercenary (Ahmed) and the other a
Georgian soldier (Nike). Both are injured. Ivo takes them into his house.

Both soldiers are sworn enemies and vow to kill each other as soon as they have physically
recovered from their injuries. Ahmed wishes to avenge his dead colleague, Ivo tells him that
he will have to kill him first.

Ivo, Margus and the local Doctor tend to both their wounds. The hatred the soldiers feel
for each other is evident from the start. Ivo sets the ground rules for them. There is to be
no killing in his house. Ivo is a man of integrity and expects the same from both men while
he helps them heal their wounds. Reluctantly the men agree but can Ivo trust them?

The theme of this film is what it means to be human.

As the film builds to a climax the ending is unexpected!

The grey skies and landscape create an excellent backdrop to this touching and very human
story of war and its consequences for both the populations enduring it and the combatants.
It is an anti-war film sometimes brutal and sometimes uplifting. As we spend time with the
characters we start to understand the futility of war.

This film was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film (2015) at the 87th Academy
Awards and was among the 5 nominated films at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards for
Best Foreign Film (2015). It also won Best Director Award for Zaza Urushadze at the Warsaw International Film Festival in 2013.

Chris Gracia


            Weighted vote 91%