Classic Elsternwick - Sunday 21 June 2015, 10:00am
Running time: 87m
Country: Estonia and Georgia
Release date: 18/06/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 9/10 (ME 4.5/5, DP 4.5/5)
Set in a rural village in Abkhazia, Tangerines is the story of Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak), an elderly carpenter working in partnership with tangerine farmer Margus (Elmo Nüganen) while a civil war rages around them in the early 1990s. When two soldiers from opposing sides are injured in a battle near his house, Ivo nurses the enemies back to health.
Tangerines creates an intriguing dynamic between Chechen mercenary Ahmed (Giorgi Nakashidze) and Georgian soldier Niko (Mikheil Meshki) and their (apparently) neutral saviour Ivo. The tension begins quickly and is sustained through to the film's shocking conclusion. The performances are amazing in a film that is beautifully shot, full of soul but intensely bleak. The dreary soundtrack perpetuates the sense of impending doom and left us uncomfortable throughout, though there was a building sense of hope within a no-win situation. The simplicity of the plot is one of the film's greatest assets and allows the actors to get the most out of an excellent script.
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Picture at the 87th Academy Awards (won by Ida from Poland) Tangerines is a well-crafted reminder of the importance of compassion, the potential of redemption and the humanity that binds us all. Highly recommended. (ME)
2nd Golden Thumbs Awards