Archive of films My Happy Family / Chemi Bednieri Ojakhi
Germany / Georgia / France
2016, 119 min
Three generations squeezed into one flat in Tbilisi. On her 52nd birthday Manana decides to up sticks in order to go and live somewhere quiet by herself; in the conservative minds of her family and friends, this is unthinkable. This realistic study of traditional Georgian values provides perfect fodder for a wealth of caustically comic situations.
Three generations squeezed into one flat in Tbilisi. Manana, who teaches literature, celebrates her 52nd birthday by announcing to her family that she’s decided to up sticks and move out; she wants to live on her own somewhere quiet. Perhaps a tad hasty even for a modern Western family, her decision sparks a series of emotionally taut situations in the more conservative Georgian environment, although these are often tempered with an acerbically comedic tone. The heroine becomes an anomaly for family and friends, because her husband “doesn’t even drink or beat her,” so why would she want to swan off in search of her own life when she could be preparing for her role as grandma? Manana is, in fact, trying to instil in her daughter something she herself never had from her own mother. Manana’s mum represents traditional patriarchal society, where the woman is responsible for the family’s happiness and is supposed to sacrifice everything in order to achieve it. The framing of the scenes, along with the sound composition, draws the viewer right up close to the film’s realistically rendered characters. My Happy Family began its festival circuit competing at Sundance.
About the director
Nana Ekvtimishvili (b. 1978, Tbilisi) studied screenwriting and script editing at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen Konrad Wolf in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Her short film Waiting for Mum won the Audience Award in Trieste in 2013. She worked together with Simon Gross on the script of his debut Fata Morgana (2006). Her feature debut In Bloom (2013), inspired by her own coming-of-age memories, won a huge number of festival awards. Simon Gross (b. 1976, Berlin) studied film direction at Munich’s University of Television and Film. After several shorts, he travelled to Morocco to shoot his first feature, Fata Morgana. He established Polar Film with Nana Ekvtimishvili, and as producer and co-director he was involved in the multi-award-winning In Bloom, which was screened in Variety’s Ten Euro Directors to Watch at KVIFF.
About the film
|Director:||Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross|
|Dir. of Photography:||Tudor Vladimir Panduru|
|Art Director:||Kote Japharidze|
|Producer:||Jonas Katzenstein, Maximilian Leo, Simon Gross|
|Coproduction:||Polare Film, Arizona Productions, ZDF|
|Cast:||Ia Shugliashvili, Merab Ninidze, Berta Khapava, Tsisia Qumsashvili, Giorgi Khurtsilava|
|Sales:||Memento Films International|
Guillaume De Seille
Producer, Distributor, Sales Agent