Screening Berlin Film Week

The debut feature from Georgian writer-director Dea Kulumbegashvili, Beginning is an unflinching drama about a Jehovah’s Witness who undergoes a dramatic crisis of faith. Unsettling and visually arresting, Georgia’s official submission for the 2021 Academy Awards marks the arrival of a stunning new talent in world cinema.

Set in a provincial town at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, the film tells the story of Yana (IIa Sukhitashvili), the wife of a Jehovah’s Witness leader whose community is under attack from an extremist group. In the midst of this conflict, and with her husband away, Yana’s inner discontent grows as she struggles to make sense of the world around her. Meanwhile, the intrusion of a local detective in her home has dramatic and devastating consequences.

Told with sparse dialogue and exquisitely slow, observant camerawork that recalls the films of Michael Haneke, Carlos Reygadas and Chantal Akerman, Beginning is an unflinching examination of trauma, religious conflict and intolerance, scrutinising the interior life of a woman facing both a marital and existential crossroads. A breakout from the Official Selection at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, Kulumbegashvili’s debut will shake you to your core.

Born in 1986, Dea Kulumbegashvili is Georgian writer/director based in Tbilisi. Her debut short lm Invisible Spaces was nominated for a Palme d’Or du Court Métrage at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. It was also the rst lm from independent Georgia to be part of the O cial Competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Dea’s second short lm Léthé premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight selection and played in dozens of other festivals around the world, including International Film Festival Rotterdam and MoMa’s New Directors/New Films.
For her debut feature, Beginning, Dea was invited to the Cannes’ Cinéfondation Residency, and the Sam Spiegel International Film Lab in Jerusalem where
she won a prize, as she did at The So a Meetings and the Rotterdam Festival Hubert Bals Fund. Beginning was chosen to be part of the O cial Selection at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival as well as the San Sebastian Film Festival’s main competition and the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival


Lenguage: Georgian with English subtitles

Doors: 9.30 pm
Start: 10 pm
MARS garden

In case of rain, the screening will take place indoor at Kuppelhalle.