History, memory, water: the reclamation of Georgian identity in Irakli Kvirikadze's The Swimmer
Author: Graffy, Julian
Source: Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema, Volume 1, Number 3, August 2007 , pp. 299-327(29)
Abstract:Irakli Kvirikadze's film The Swimmer, made in 1981, but not released in its full form until 1987, traces the fates of three members of the same Georgian family through sequences set in 1913, 1947 and the film's present. It uses the metaphor of swimming to examine questions of Georgian culture and identity both within its narrow surface timescale and over the whole of Georgian history. This article seeks to examine the ways in which The Swimmer re-asserts Georgian identity in the context of Soviet experience. It looks at the film's allusions to Georgian history from the Kingdom of Colchis, visited by Jason and the Argonauts, through the Greek, Roman, Christian and Ottoman periods, to the late Tsarist era, the Russian Revolution and the Stalin years. The Swimmer is also a film about its own making, and its other central concern is the questions raised by attempts to film the past. Like other films of the period, it examines the way in which art and memory combine to attempt to provide historical understanding.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University College London.
Publication date: 2007-08-31
- Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema focuses on pre-revolutionary, Soviet and post- Soviet film, its aesthetic development, and its position between ideology and industry. SRSC invites contributions that constitute original research. The journal seeks to promote research from established scholars as well as to encourage researchers new to the field.
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