A BEAR OVER OUR HEADS
a documentary project by Zaza Rusadze
Two photographs were taken on the same spot in Georgia's breakaway region Abkhazia. One in 1982 and 2007 - before and after the war between Georgian and Abkhazian people. The photos allow a timely re-examination of the effects of nationalistic tendencies on the lives of everyday people.
Abkhazia extends from the summits of the Caucasus to the banks of the Black Sea. As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate towards the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between Abkhazian and Georgian people over Georgia's moves towards independence. This led to the 1992–1993 War that resulted in a Georgian military defeat and de facto independence of Abkhazia. Georgians are unable to return back to their homes, neither Abkhazians can travel to Georgia. Any possibility of renewing the dialogue between these two nations remains unforeseen in the nearest feature.
A BEAR OVER OUR HEADS which utilizes satellite feeds and the latest in global communicative systems, will allow me a Georgian citizen, virtual access to the forbidden land of my memory. In collaboration with an Abkhazian filmmaker and his accompanying cinematographer this "interactive journey" aims to showcase the futility of divisive political boundaries.
The metaphorical centerpiece of the film is the location of the tourist attraction with a stuffed bear at Ritsa Lake, which acts as a focus of nostalgia. I intend to retrace the footsteps of my childhood: places, people and memories which I yearn to touch but can't...
Best Pitch Award at Pitch.Doc 2010 in frames of 11th Tbilisi International Film festival
The project development is supported by a grant from the Sundance Documentary Film Program