In Bloom: Georgia’s Oscar Entry

In Bloom, the impressive feature debut, co-directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross is Georgia’s Oscar Entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Award.

Set in the early 1990s, in Tbilisi, the capital of the newly independent Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, In Bloom is an intimate tale of friendship, set against the broader political context of a country facing violence, war on the Black Sea coast (Abkhazia, and vigilante justice..

Eka and Natia, around 14, are inseparable friends, spending their time in the streets, at school, and with friends or Eka’s elder sister. Although they are already dealing with men’s dominance, early marriage and disillusioned love, they are determined to shape their own future.

Though the focus is on the coming of age of young girls, In Bloom contains a light pro-feminist message about women living in and defying rigidly defined patriarchal traditions.

As played by Babluani and Bokeria, the girls project a strong screen presence, and the whole film benefits from the strong rapport between them.

It is a tribute to the filmmakers that, despite very particular socio-political conditions, they also manage to find more univeral overtones about coming of age and empowerment of female frienship against all odds.