13 Tzameti Gela Babluani

This is one of those movies that’s more enjoyable the less you know about it. The only thing that you need to be concerned about for plot at this point is that it’s about a down and out roofer who stumbles into a life and death scenario that’s way bigger than him. Leave it at that and you’ll find yourself enjoying a bleak black and white thriller from France written and directed by first-time Georgian immigrant Gela Babluani, and starring his younger brother, George, as the poor protagonist. The plot is slow to progress at first, which will leave you wondering what main character Sebastien is bound to end up involved with, but once it really gets underway there are tension and thrills. The DVD synopsis gives away some of the plot, which lowers the anxiety somewhat but 13 Tzameti is a movie about one individual’s loss of innocence, which George perfectly plays with a combination of horror, rage and eventual acceptance. And while the outcome may be obvious pretty early on, it’s the journey to this conclusion that is the point of 13 Tzameti, which hits its stride during this second half of the movie. It’s a great debut with plenty of atmosphere but unfortunately, the DVD release is a little light on extras. As with most domestic releases of foreign films there is no commentary track, although there are some interesting cast and crew interviews that include Q&As with both Gela and George Babluani. There’s also a similarly-themed comedy short in English called "Sundays Game” that goes on far too long, as well as a brief "interview” entitled "Testimony of a Survivor” that blurs the line between fiction and reality, raising a number questions regarding authenticity from viewers. (Seville)