The Swimmer

  • 1981
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography

Georgian cinema has given audiences some of the most remarkable, innovative, and beautifully photographed films ever made, from the work of Sergei Paradzhanov and Otar Iosseliani to the stunning anti-Stalinist film REPENTANCE. In THE SWIMMER, director Irakli Quiricadze, like his Georgian brothers, has rooted his work in folktales and legends. Spanning the...read more

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Georgian cinema has given audiences some of the most remarkable, innovative, and beautifully photographed films ever made, from the work of Sergei Paradzhanov and Otar Iosseliani to the stunning anti-Stalinist film REPENTANCE. In THE SWIMMER, director Irakli Quiricadze, like his Georgian

brothers, has rooted his work in folktales and legends. Spanning the 20th century, THE SWIMMER chronicles three generations of long-distance swimmers.

A Soviet feature from 1981, which saw a release in 1984 in a truncated version (minus its anti-Stalinism) and premiered in its full-length version in the US at the 1988 San Francisco Film Festival, THE SWIMMER is a technically inventive and often brilliant piece of filmmaking. Although much of its

running time is spent in tracing the legend of long-distance swimmer Durishhan and his son, the picture is more than a piece of folklore. It is a film about man's role in documenting his own history, legends, and folktales. THE SWIMMER stresses the importance not only of the "swimmer" (literally

and as a symbolic Everyman) but also of the historian, placing the storyteller on the same plane as the story. Much of the movie takes place in the present, as the director and her film crew (who, wrapped in protective plastic to ward off the elements along the Black Sea, have an almost surreal

appearance) bring the legend of Durishhan to life. These filmmaking scenes, shot in color, are contrasted with the silent black-and-white and sepia footage that actually tells the story of Durishhan's life. The latter pay tribute not only to the folklore of Durishhan but to Soviet cinema's history

of poetic realism.

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  • Released: 1981
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Georgian cinema has given audiences some of the most remarkable, innovative, and beautifully photographed films ever made, from the work of Sergei Paradzhanov and Otar Iosseliani to the stunning anti-Stalinist film REPENTANCE. In THE SWIMMER, director Irak… (more)
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