A Georgian film with a gay theme has taken the Cannes Film Festival by storm. The audience gave it a standing ovation on Thursday (16 May) at its debut. The film, "And then we danced", directed by Levan Akin, a Swedish born with a Georgian ancestry deals with a love that in Georgia is yet to dare say its name. As the official summary of the plot goes, "Merab has been training since a young age at the National Georgian Ensemble with his dance partner Mary. His world is suddenly turned upside down when the charismatic and carefree Irakli arrives and becomes both his strongest rival and desire. In this conservative setting Merab finds himself having to break free and risk it all."
This is Levan Akin's third film. "With this film I find myself really going back to my roots as a filmmaker, working in an organic way, where the real lives of the people in the film and what's going on in Georgia now affects the story," wrote Akin in a director's statement. "It is ever evolving. Telling the story of young LGBT+ people and their struggles on a smaller scale but also showing the history and situation of Georgia today on a larger scale. This film will not only be a very interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free."
There are reports that Georgian official structures distanced themselves from the film when it was being shot, once they became aware that it had a gay theme. Bachi Valishvili who plays the role of Irakli in the film "And Then We Danced" said that on the other hand the reaction for the movie in Cannes was overwhelmingly positive: "We received so much positive feedback. I want to thank everybody who has supported us and have said good things. It creates a balance with the comments coming from the other side."
You can watch the film official trailer on You Tube, here
photo: Bachi Valishvili plays the role of Irakli and Levan Gelbakhiani plays the role of Merab in the film "And then we danced which premiered at the Cannes Film Festivasl on 16 May (picture courtesy of the Cannes Film Festival)
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