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      Beginning

      2020 2h 10m Drama TRAILER for Beginning: Trailer 1 List Beginning: Trailer 1 Beginning: Trailer 1 1:27 View more videos
      90% Tomatometer 52 Reviews 71% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings A missionary's life spirals out of control after extremists burn down a Jehovah's Witnesses church in a remote Georgian village. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Consensus

      A striking debut from director/co-writer Dea Kulumbegashvili, Beginning grapples convincingly with complex ideas while offering a brilliant showcase for star Ia Sukhitashvili.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Guy Lodge Film of the Week Our extended considerations of organised religion, patriarchal society and how to be alone whistle through all the film's beautiful empty space, colouring and complicating it. Mar 23, 2021 Full Review David Ehrlich indieWire It can be hard to divine much of a difference between beginnings and endings, but there's no mistaking the savage grace with which Kulumbegashvili blurs them together until they're one and the same. Rated: B+ Mar 3, 2021 Full Review Pamela Hutchinson Sight & Sound In contemplating the horror of a subservient life, Kulumbegashvili has created a quite extraordinarily compelling film. Feb 18, 2021 Full Review Marya E. Gates Cool People Have Feelings, Too. (Substack) Kulumbegashvili’s film has been compared to Michael Haneke, but there’s also a strong current of Chantal Akerman in the film’s shot compositions and exploration of Yana’s tortured interiority. Feb 12, 2024 Full Review Josh Parham Next Best Picture The direction is a confident debut that utilizes arresting imagery to create a stark and effective gaze. Rated: 6/10 Jun 5, 2022 Full Review Susannah Gruder Reverse Shot While her emotional world remains hidden to us, we nonetheless feel an intimacy with Yana as she nestles herself into the vastness of her environment. Rated: B+ Feb 28, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      immortal v One of the best "first features" I've ever seen. Surely the beginning of a monumental career for the director Dea. Has Tarkovsky all over it in a great way. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member We'll start calling this film ¨masterpiece¨in a really short time. Is beautifully shot and outstandingly directed, with director Dea Kulumbegashvili with total control of her craft, supported by the beautifully imagery and subtle but deeply emotional performances. One of the most powerful portrayal of women I've seen, there is no heroine or villain, there's just a woman, an outsider opressed by a system that hates her community, a community in which se is also an outsider, suffering from violence in many ways. But don't ge her wrong. She is not a victim. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member Barely a movie. I don't get the genius behind 10 minute long scenes where NOTHING happens. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Meticulously crafted and shot the movie nevertheless leaves you with a feeling that it's a bit smarter than you are without really being one. The theme of misoginy in Georgian society is totally something worth raising. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Audience Member Stunning debut with an opening that builds tension then shocks you that is just as impressive as Orson Welles' 'Touch of Evil'. The director Dea Kulumbegashvili uses the torturously held static shot to an unbearable yet riveting way - at one point we watch the lead character fake sleep and we wonder whether the film is being streamed correctly. At its heart is a study of new religion (Jehovah's Witness) in the face of fierce opposition with a double whammy of an ending. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member (Español / English) English abstract Beginning is a Georgian debut feature that swept the main awards at the last San Sebastian Festival. Accompany Yana, a woman who abandoned her vocation as an actress to follow and accompany her husband as the leader of a community of Jehovah's Witnesses in a town in Georgia (the country), subject to a subtle domestic machismo and another more explicit social and religious, with guilt and punishment as essential inputs of domination, all this inserted in turn in an absolutely hostile national environment. Yana's existential crisis, accelerated by an unexpected series of attacks, is radically addressed by the director, with some formal resources taken to the extreme, in a sort of biblical tragedy that goes from poetry to symbolic or verbal violence to physical. ........................................................................................................................................ Abstract español Beginning es una ópera prima georgiana que arrasó con los principales premios del último Festival de San Sebastián. Acompaña a Yana, una mujer que abandonó su vocación de actriz para seguir y acompañar a su esposo como líder de una comunidad de Testigos de Jehová en un pueblo de Georgia (el país), sujeta a un sutil machismo doméstico y a otro más explícito social y religioso, con la culpa y el castigo como insumos esenciales de dominación, todo esto inserto a su vez en un entorno nacional absolutamente hostil. La crisis existencial de Yana, acelerada por una inesperada serie de agresiones, es abordada de manera radical por la directora, con algunos recursos formales llevados al extremo, en una suerte de tragedia bíblica que va de la poesía a la violencia simbólica o verbal a la física. .................................................................................................................................... English Review Yana (Ia Sukhitashvili) is the wife of the leader of a community of Jehovah's Witnesses in a town in Georgia (the country), where the majority of the population profess the Orthodox Christian faith and sees them with bad eyes. Her community task is to teach classes in preparation for baptism to the children of the congregation. A serious incident in the community meeting room (superbly filmed) determines the departure of her husband for a few days and she is left alone with her son. The unexpected aggressions that she suffers during that absence are added to the buried crisis that she had been going through. Beginning is the debut feature by the young director Dea Kulumbegashvili that won no less than four major prizes at the 2020 San Sebastian Festival (film, direction, script and leading actress) from the president of the jury Luca Guadagnino and it was selected to represent its country for the Oscars. How to approach the review of this original and radical film in so many ways? From the formal point of view, the director virtuously resorts to extremely long fixed shots (that is, shots without cuts where the camera does not move), both for intimate scenes with a hypnotic stillness and for others that do not allow the viewer to escape from a painting of violence. Even more remarkable is the original use of sound out of the field (that is, keeping certain events or characters in a scene out of the picture), with literally disturbing effects. A beautiful photograph is added and an almost total absence of a soundtrack. Yana is a woman who abandoned her vocation as an actress to follow and accompany her husband. In other words, she chooses to belong to a community where she dominates a subtle domestic and another more explicit social and religious male chovinism, with guilt and punishment as essential inputs for domination. A community in turn inserted into an absolutely hostile national and religious environment. Yana is a dissatisfied woman who, on the one hand, does not finish assuming her role as a victim, despite the siege of aggressions that is rising around her, but who at the same time is incubating some way to overcome it in those long dead times that her we see transit. Beginning supports more than one reading. It can be seen as a kind of biblical tragedy that refers in part to the cinema of Dumont and that of Lars Von Trier, where some character perhaps fulfills an allegorical role not because of the obviousness of the script but because of the codes that subdue the protagonist and determine the look her. ......................................................................................................................................... Reseña Español Yana (Ia Sukhitashvili) es la esposa del líder de una comunidad de Testigos de Jehová en un pueblo de Georgia (el país), donde la mayoría de la población profesa la fe cristiana ortodoxa y los ve con malos ojos. Su tarea comunitaria es impartir clases preparatorias para el bautismo a los niños de la congregación. Un grave incidente en la sala de reuniones de la comunidad (magníficamente filmado) determina la partida de su esposo durante unos días y que ella quede sola con su hijo. Las inesperadas agresiones que padece durante esa ausencia se suman a la soterrada crisis que venía transitando. Beginning es la ópera prima de la joven directora Dea Kulumbegashvili que ganó nada menos que cuatro premios mayores del Festival de San Sebastián 2020 (película, dirección, guion y actriz protagónica) de manos del presidente del jurado Luca Guadagnino y fue seleccionada para representar a su país para los premios Oscar. ¿Cómo abordar la reseña de esta película original y radical en tantos sentidos? Desde lo formal, la directora recurre virtuosamente a larguísimos planos fijos (es decir, tomas sin cortes donde la cámara no se mueve), tanto para las escenas intimistas y de una quietud hipnótica como para otras que no permiten escapar al espectador de un cuadro de violencia. Más notable aún es el original uso del sonido fuera de campo (es decir manteniendo en una escena fuera de la imagen ciertos sucesos o personajes), con efectos literalmente inquietantes. Se suma una bella fotografía y una ausencia casi total de banda sonora. Yana es una mujer que abandonó su vocación de actriz para seguir y acompañar a su esposo. Es decir, que opta por pertenecer a una comunidad donde domina un machismo doméstico (a veces sutil) y explícito social y religioso, con la culpa y el castigo como insumos esenciales de dominación. Una comunidad inserta a su vez en un entorno nacional y religioso absolutamente hostil. Yana es una mujer insatisfecha que por un lado no termina de asumir su rol de víctima, a pesar del cerco de agresiones que se va levantando alrededor de ella, pero que al mismo tiempo va incubando alguna manera de superarlo en esos largos tiempos muertos que la vemos transitar. Beginning admite más de una lectura. Puede verse como una suerte de tragedia bíblica que remite en parte al cine de Dumont y al de Lars Von Trier, donde algún personaje cumple acaso un rol alegórico no por una obviedad del guion sino por los códigos que sojuzgan a la protagonista y condicionan su mirada. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A missionary's life spirals out of control after extremists burn down a Jehovah's Witnesses church in a remote Georgian village.
      Director
      Dea Kulumbegashvili
      Producer
      Ilan Amouyal, David Zerat, Rati Oneli, Paul Rozenberg
      Screenwriter
      Dea Kulumbegashvili, Rati Oneli
      Production Co
      First Picture
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      Georgian
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 29, 2021
      Runtime
      2h 10m
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