Sog.: da un racconto omonimo di Ekaterina Gabašvili. Scen.: Karlo Gogodze. F.: Lev Šuchov, Aleksandr Digmelov. Scgf.: Iosif Sumbatašvili. M.: Vasilij Dolenko. Mus.: Arčil Kereselidze. Int.: Dudukhana Tserodze (Magdana), Akakij Kvantaliani (Mitua), Roland Barašvili (Mikho), Liana Moistsrapišvili (Safo), Nani Čikvinidze (Kato), Karlo Sakandelidze (Vano, servo di fattoria), Akakij Vasadze (capo del villaggio), Aleksandr Omiadze (il vecchio Gigo), Aleksandr Takaišvili (giudice). Prod.: Gruzia-film (Tbilisi) · 35mm. Bn.
An especially brilliant entry in one of cinema’s most important sub-sub genres: The donkey movie. Lurdža Magdany tells the story of a poor beast of burden left somewhere along the road to die by its owner, a merchant; to this feudalist scumbag it seemed as if there was not one more hour of work left in this barely-living creature. Luckily, some kids find the donkey and decide to take care of it. An act of kindness the donkey repays by making itself useful for the family once its strength is back. Yet when the merchant notices that his erstwhile possession is now working for someone else, troubles ensue… Lurdža Magdany – or Magdanas Lurja in the Georgian Version we chose to show here – was among the first films of the period that signalled the renascence of several regional Soviet film cultures (the Ukraine would soon develop into another major force). Also, with the two arguably most important Georgian Thaw auteurs Tengiz Abuladze and Rezo Čcheidze sharing directorial duties, Lurdža Magdany could be understood as something of a manifesto for a new realist art. Abuladze and Čcheidze would actually follow rather different aesthetic routes: Abuladze moved from a poetic realism to an often mystical cinema of allegories, while Čcheidze excelled in hearty popular fare.