News Toothless old men as a reflection of populism: KVIFF welcomes the world premiere of Smiling Georgia

Published: July 05, 2023| 11:58 AM

Smiling Georgia is not only the title of the compelling documentary that had its world premiere at KVIFF, but also the name of an election campaign that promised gullible villagers new teeth in exchange for their votes. The elderly had their rotten teeth removed in droves, but never received the money promised for replacements. Their disillusionment and loss of faith have been documented by Luka Beradze. “They can’t afford new teeth on Georgian pensions. There are rumours that locals are now borrowing dentures from each other,” Beradze told the audience after Tuesday’s screening.

As well as exposing the dark side of populism, the filmmakers also want to help the elderly they show in their documentary. “My friends and I have already paid for a couple of new dentures, and we hope the film will help us raise money for more,” he explained during the discussion. But as producer Anna Khazaradze pointed out, the Georgian government is currently also trying to pull the local film industry’s teeth out. “Our friends are now protesting against the chaos created by the changes at the National Film Centre. If the situation doesn’t improve, critical pieces like ours won’t be made at all,” she told the audience. 


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