Set deep in the Caucus mountains during the Georgian Civil War, Dede stars Natia Vibliani as Dina, a young woman struggling against her family’s strict rules regarding marriage. She’s betrothed to David (Nukri Khachvani) but is in love with his friend Gegi (George Babluani). David and Gegi are great friends and David owes his life to Gegi ,who saved him in battle. When the two discover that they both love the same woman and that Dina only loves Gegi, David commits suicide. With David out of the way, it seems like Gegi and Dina can go on with their lives. They marry and have a boy, Mose. However, they face many trials and tribulations as Dina’s failure to fulfill her duty in marrying David creates animosity among her community. A string of tragic events turns Dina’s world upside down and brings a new man Girshel (Girshel Chelidze) into her life. Can Dina ever find happiness in an unforgiving community and an even more unforgiving landscape?
Dede was directed by Marian Khatchvani and written by Khatchvani along with Vladimer Katcharava and Irakli Solomonashvili. It was filmed on location in Svaneti, Georgia. Konstantin Esadze’s cinematography is absolutely stunning. There are breathtaking shots of the secluded village with the gorgeous backdrop of the mountains. I love the juxtaposition of the stunning beauty of the surrounding nature but the brutality of living in such a harsh climate.
This is a quiet, unassuming film with a powerful message. It expertly portrays the cruelty of arranged marriages. When you take the humanity out of relationships and family building in the name of tradition, there are harsh consequences. And while Dina is the main victim of the many tragedies of the story, it’s the community who must learn the error of their ways. You get a sense of how traditions can be soul-crushing for those involved.
Dede is available from Corinth Films on DVD and on Digital through Vimeo and Amazon Prime.