|Georgia and Russia's Cinema Conflict—The Empire Strikes Back|
|June 18, 2011|
By Giorgi Lomsadze
Action movie fans take note: If you already queued the recently released pro-Georgia film "Five Days of August" on Netflix, Russia now has a cinematic response.
Called simply "August 8," the movie (not yet released) apparently is designed to shape opinions in the Russian-speaking world about the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. It does not flaunt big names like Andy Garcia, Rupert Friend or Val Kilmer, who star in "Five Days of August." Instead, it features the lesser-known Russian movie/stage star Gosha Kutsenko , a proud member of his country's ruling United Russia party.
Both August war movies feature dramatic plots and a robust dose of propaganda. Both feature beautiful girls (the Georgian Tatia in "Five Days of August" and the Russian Ksenia in "August 8") who are caught in the conflict's crossfire, and need real men to save them.
Tbilisi gave soldiers and military gear to Hollywood director Renny Harlin to help produce many explosions and battle scenes in "Five Days of August." Probably there will be no shortage of similar explosions and extras in "August 8." The film was mostly shot in Abkhazia , South Ossetia's breakaway twin, which is full of Russian soldiers these days.
Moscow kicked off the silver-screen confrontation with Georgia in 2009 with the campy "Olympus Inferno," which tells the wartime story of an American entomologist, a South Ossetian moth and Georgians with evil accents.
Will Georgia respond with another feature film? That we don’t know. But, at this rate, perhaps annual international film festivals should introduce a category for Best August War Movie.
2010 © Eurasianet
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