Cinema Modernissimo > 21:45


Kote Mikaberidze

Due to tonight’s forecast of rain, the screening scheduled in Piazza Maggiore has been cancelled.
Tonight’s screening of Kote Mikaberidze‘s Chemi bebia (My Grandmother) with live musical accompaniment by Cleaning Women will be moved to Cinema Modernissimo, with two consecutive screenings, the first at 9.45 pm (with priority for festival pass holders with reservations) and the second screening at 11.15 pm (free entry, no priority access).

Live accompaniment curated by Cleaning Women


Monday 24/06/2024


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

I have seen my share of weird and incredible films, but Chemi bebia ranks among the craziest that I have ever seen. Let’s state at the outset that the film has nothing to do with grandmothers. It is a satire on bureaucracy that makes all other satires look tame. The expression “my grandmother” seems to mean a referee, patron, or protector needed to get back on track when the protagonist is fired from his office.
No holds are barred in Kote Mikaberidze’s savage attack on bureaucracy. There are affinities with the Dada, the wildest masters of early film farce (Cretinetti), early Eisenstein (Strike), and the FEKS school of Soviet cinema. Mikaberidze’s film is a firework display of visual technique. There are urban montages, distorted visions, object-animation sequences, slow-motion passages, and extreme close-ups. The entire film is geared to extreme states of consciousness. One of the wittiest and most original inventions is towards the end when the characters in a chase sequence transform into their own shadows.
A dystopian vision of an open-space office is a recurrent feature in classic films exposing the alienation of the modern workspace. We remember The Crowd by King Vidor, The Apartment by Billy Wilder and The Trial by Orson Welles. Mikaberidze beats them all with his vision of the bureaucratic workspace. This incredible work is a must-see for all people interested in films that transcend the limits of conventional narrative.

Antti Alanen

In Georgian director Kote Mikaberidze’s hilarious no-holds-barred satire, a hopelessly lazy paper-pusher tries to get his job back to avoid the wrath of his wife, by looking for a “grandmother” – an influential bureaucrat who can provide a recommendation letter. For the worker, the quest turns into a labyrinthine excursion through the thickest red tape; the audience is thrust into a gloriously entertaining, frenetic 60 minutes, crammed with wildly imaginative visuals, camera tricks, special effects and stop-motion animation. Banned for nearly 50 years, Chemi bebia remains one of the most delightfully irreverent and peculiar comedies of the silent era. The exuberant Finnish musical ensemble Cleaning Women, whose work includes scores for the films Aelita, Metropolis and Alice Rohrwacher’s Oscar-nominated short Le pupille, bring their selfmade instruments – crafted from mangled household items and repurposed trash.

Mara Fortes

Cast and Credits

T. int.: My Grandmother. Sog.: Siko Dolidze. Scen.: Giorgi Mdivani, Kote Mikaberidze. F.: Anton Polikevich, Vladimir Poznan. M.: O. Gevorkian. Scgf.: Irakli Gamrekeli, Valerian SidamonEristavi. Int.: Aleksandre Takaishvili (il burocrate), Bella Chernova (la moglie del burocrate), Evgeniy Ovanov (il portiere), Akaki Khorava (l’operaio). Prod.: Goskinprom Gruzii. DCP. D.: 61’. Bn.