Happy Family (?!)
Festival in Media
2017-09-27

"My happy family" by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, premiered at Sundance Festival. It is the first Georgian film with distribution rights acquired by the biggest American company "Netflix", having 104 million users. In 2006, the company broadened its horizon with 130 countries which means that the film will be seen in almost every country.

During the summer, "My Happy Family" was screened in cinemas of Germany and France where 70,000 viewers came to see it. And the international federation of the film critics, FISPESCI, named it among the 10 best European films of the year. Sofia, Lecce, Hong Kong, Wiesbaden, Transylvania, Seattle, Odessa and Eurasia Film Festival winner "My Happy Family" will come out at Georgian theatres tomorrow, September 28th.

"My Happy Family" tells the story about one family's three generations and their relationship. It's a typical Georgian family with forever grumbling grandmother (Berta Khapava), grandfather, silenced by the life (Goven Cheishvili), housewife, always in rush (Ia Shughliasvhili) and her laidback husband (Merab Ninidze), 20 year boy "in love with" computer (Giorgi Tabidze), and newly married daughter (Tsisia Qumsishvili), whose only worry is to get pregnant soon.

Jailed in the space of small apartment, they live so tight, they even touch each other with their shoulders when crossing the rooms - "oh, be careful, huh"; "you watch yours steps yourself"; "insolent"...

At the beginning of the movie, you scope at this situation and see Manana who reads "The Passion of Shushanik" to pupils at school then returns home with all the grocery her mother told her to buy because it's her birthday and although she doesn't want to celebrate at all, "It's a shame, some people may come anyway and the table must be set". These "some people" are her husband's friends with homemade wine and guitar played Georgian songs. Manana is somehow lost in so many heroes, her voice is too low to be heard, and... what should a 52-year-old wife, mother and a teacher want at all?

Manana makes an important decision at the very beginning of the film - packs her bags and moves to the new rented apartment. She's tired of the noise and so many roles, where "me" has slowly vanished and all there's left is: Manana - mother, Manana - daughter, Manana - wife.

For whole 2 hours, you watch how she's trying to start a new life and how her relatives try to "bring her to reason," how everybody demands the answer to the question - why? Because Manana's reason is uncertain for them, - "Is there anyone?" that's what they intensely ask.

No one is "there", but she is looking for one, she's looking for herself. The idyll takes over the new house step by step: dotted curtains brings coziness, the tomato begins to blow on the balcony. Soon, she'll put up the wooden shelves to put bunch of the books she took from her old house. Now she's free to have the fruit cake with meringue for dinner, listen to Mozart on the radio in silence and read books on the balcony with a cup of hot tea.
Dynamic storytelling, scenes full of humor and good directory - Nana and Simon showed this all way back in "In Bloom" where this very common 90's theme was perceived in a whole new way. In fact, "My Happy Family" is the continuation of "In Bloom" studying the same topic (woman, society, early marriage) emphasized by appearing the main characters of "In Bloom" - Eka and Natia (Lika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria).

It's hard to talk about "My Happy Family" like it's hard to talk about... life for example. It's almost impossible. Everything here is true and unvarnished. Everything's like it actually is with me and with you - plain and sincere.

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