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Nomination #27





'Tangerines' (2013) - Directed by Zaza Urushadze

Deadline to Watch It: December 6

Nominated By: ScarletLion
Wow, this was in my list for nominations in this thread.
Seen it couple of times during the last years. Will be in my ballot for sure.
A proof how with a zero budged, a powerful cinema art can be made.
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Wow, this was in my list for nominations in this thread.
Seen it couple of times during the last years. Will be in my ballot for sure.
A proof how with a zero budged, a powerful cinema art can be made.
Exactly, glad someone else likes it. Absolutely superb film. with a bit of everything, including a beautiful last 10 minutes.



A system of cells interlinked
Tangerines is free (with ads) in my region, so I will try to get it in asap.
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A system of cells interlinked
Tangerines


Beautiful, moving stuff. I also figured out some of the excellent music on my guitar. Thanks for the recommendation.



Ooh! Great nom! I watched it last year and here is what I wrote about it then:


Tangerines, 2013

Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak) lives and works in a small village that is all but abandoned as an armed conflict gains momentum nearby. Along with his friend Margus (Elmo Nuganen), Ivo hopes to harvest an orchard full of tangerines before being forced to move away. When two soldiers on opposite sides of the conflict, Nika (Misha Meskhi) and Ahmed (Giorgi Nakashidze), end up wounded and staying in Ivo's home, Ivo must walk a delicate line between the two sides.

This film is a great example of a simple but powerful story.

As with some international films, I am not very familiar with the conflict portrayed in this movie. And yet I do not feel that understanding that conflict is a requirement for picking up on the film's very clear themes about violence and decency. At one point a character literally says of the soldiers on both sides, "What if they just picked tangerines?".

So many elements of this movie fall into the category of simple-but-effective. And nothing anchors the film more than Lembit Ulfsak's performance as Ivo, a man in whom decency is so ingrained that it compels similar decency in others just out of pure expectation. In his treatment of Nika and Ahmed, Ivo becomes a mix of a father figure and a friend. He sees people, all people, as being human above all else: above nationality, above occupation, above age.

In my review of God's Own Country I talked about the gentle power of kindness and the way it can effect change on others. This is another film that shows that dynamic very well. Ivo cares about other people. He asks them questions and really listens to the answers. For both Nika and Ahmed, you can see the way that Ivo's simple expectation of reciprocal respect impact their behavior and, eventually, their attitudes.

Zooming out, the film as a whole walks a lovely line between optimism and realism. The tangerine grove looks like a little slice of heaven, and the firing of guns and explosions feels borderline sacrilegious in a place of such peace and beauty. But many of those who fight do not see such beauty, or have had to shut themselves off from caring about it in order to survive. At its heart, there is tragedy in this film. For all that characters change and grow and mature, kindness alone cannot stop the beating of war drums. What we do see of the fighting between the two groups is messy, disjoint, and wasteful.

Something I have not fully thought through yet is the way that this film explores the idea of violence and war as erasing identity. There are no women in the film, at all (save a sometimes-discussed photo of Ivo's granddaughter). And with Ivo's family all gone, his own identity has become more abstract. The relationships that define who these men are (fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, etc) are conspicuously absent until the different characters tease it out of each other.

I had no complaints about this film. It is a simple story told with a strong eye for characterization. The performances are good and the scenery is gorgeous.




Just finished Tangerines, and I really loved it. It has a simple, straightforward story, but it's told very well and gave me quite a bit to ponder over. Ivo is effective as a father figure who tries his best to keep the peace between Ahmed and Nika, believing that all people are equal and hoping for his kindness to rub off on the two of them before it's too late. It also has some great anti-war themes which show that not only can the men from the opposing sides potentially get along with each other in the right setting, but given the serenity of Ivo's home and the tangerine groves, the violence in the film seems tragic with the knowledge of what the soldiers are either ignoring or missing out on. Really, this is a rare case where the violence feels senseless rather than exciting. This will certainly be in contention for my ballot.
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I really wanted to try to watch as many movies from this thread as I could, but for the last couple of weeks until the deadline I've been trying to focus on movies that have the best chance to make my list, and there have been too many foreign language films for me in this thread, so I'll have to just focus on my own watchlist until the deadline.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread.
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I really wanted to try to watch as many movies from this thread as I could, but for the last couple of weeks until the deadline I've been trying to focus on movies that have the best chance to make my list, and there have been too many foreign language films for me in this thread, so I'll have to just focus on my own watchlist until the deadline.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread.
You watched way more movies here than I did. I only watched two and one of those was yours



Tangerines -


Despite having a small cast, being set in one location and clocking in at under ninety minutes, Tangerines is just as affecting a war movie as many of its epic, big budget counterparts. Set during the Georgian region of Abkhazia during the '90s war of the same name, the location is a small tangerine farm and the home of Estonian immigrant and carpenter Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak). Nearly all the region's Estonian population has gone back home, including Ivo's family, but he refuses to leave. The peace of the farm and the neutrality of Ivo and his neighbor and farmer Margus (Elmo Nuganen) are challenged when Ivo's house becomes a refuge for two injured soldiers on the war's opposing sides.

While much of the movie is Ivo and Margus tending to their businesses, spending much-earned downtime together as well as reasoning with and getting to know their new guests, those who like tension and action in their war movies will find it here. In addition to Ivo doing everything he can to stop Chechen and Muslim survivor Ahmed (Giorgi Nakashidze) from murdering Georgian and Christian survivor Nika (Mikheil Meskhi), he and Margus have to contend with the war raging closer and closer to their doorsteps, with each attack expertly occurring at the least expected times. Having little knowledge about the region or this conflict, I was just as confused about the necessity of the war as Ivo is and as confused about Ahmed and Niko's willingness to die for it. Even so, the movie is bound to make you ask the same questions even if you identify with one of the soldiers. It helps that Ulfsak, Nuganen, Nakashidze and Meskhi strengthen the argument that the best acting occurs in confined spaces, my favorite being Nakashidze's performance as Ahmed, especially since the actor is Georgian. I also appreciate that the movie makes Ivo seem like a human being and not just a gruff loner and spouter of wise quotations that most old men in movies like this one tend to be. It ends up being a powerful anti-war statement that manages to question the value of cultural identity and ideologies for how much conflict they engender without dismissing the good things about them. Also, while I like a good epic-scale war movie as much as the next war movie lover, seeing one that does these things with so few players and at a bucolic setting is a nice surprise.



Just finished watching Tangerines. Simple, short but an effective, antiwar movie. I loved how it didn't lean on any side of the conflict, as in was devoid of bias. The music was another highlight.


Nice recommendations @ScarletLion



Tangerines



As someone who thinks about all of the unnecessary hate in the world, I'm a big fan of films which show that sworn enemies can actually find common ground once they get to know each other as human beings. That's one of the reasons I love Clash, which I nominated in this thread, and it's one of the main reasons I loved Tangerines. Beyond that this was a tight film that didn't waste any time and was a breeze to sit through. Loved the look as it has the perfect combination of polish and authenticity. It probably won't make my 2010's ballot but I like it's chances whenever we get to a war films countdown.




Saw Tangerines last year for Cinema International.

While in Georgia to help a friend's tangerine crop, Ivo finds a Chechen mercenary wounded and brings him in the house to nurse him back to health. While burying the dead, they find a Georgian soldier who is wounded but alive and bring him in as well. Ivo finds his hands full trying to keep the two soldiers from killing each other while leading both to recovery and trying to help his friend harvest the tangerines.

Although it occasionally strays into familiar territory, the decision made by director Zaza Urushadze to focus on the more human aspects of the story leads to a gripping, involving film with some good acting. The film finds a good balance between releasing some of the tension with some humor one minute and making the tension pay off to good dramatic effect later on.

I don't think it'd make my final list, but it was a solid film.