DER Documentary

Music of Georgia (Caucasus) Series

Music of Georgia (Caucasus) Series previews of each film are below

by Hugo Zemp
color, 115 min, 1998-2012




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Traditional music of Georgia (the Caucasus) is now internationally renowned and appreciated for the richness and beauty of its polyphonies. While concerts and studio recordings have revealed the diversity of local musical traditions, the films in this series show, for the first time, the performance of three different music styles in the context of rituals and learning.

The Feast-Day of Tamar and Lashari (73 minutes, 1998) launch preview watch a preview
Pilgrims meet at two mountain sanctuaries to celebrate the deified Queen Tamar and King Lashari with prayers, sacrifices and ritual songs. The participants of the feast also enjoy secular music and the company of friends.

Funeral Chants from the Georgian Caucasus (21 minutes, 2007) launch preview watch a preview
During a burial, women and men separately perform individual laments punctuated by collective wailing, while a men's small choir perform polyphonic songs composed of musically stylized cries of grief.

with co-director Nino Tsitsishvili:
Duduki of Tbilisi: Eldar Shoshitashvili and His Students (21 minutes, 2012) launch preview watch a preview
The duduki is a double-reed wind instrument of the oboe family. During a rehearsal, the teacher and his students perform traditional repertoires of Middle Eastern origin as well as styles derived from rural polyphonic singing, and westernized songs developed by Georgian musicians since the 20th century.

“These three films unified in one series show the distinct layers of contemporary Georgian culture with a remarkable precision and attention to real contexts. The creator of these documentaries is both a wonderful filmmaker and a great producer, but he always remains a musician, creating a sense of being in tune with the performers.” — Rusudan Tsurtsumia, Head of the International Research Center for Traditional Polyphony, Tbilisi, Georgia

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
First Video Prize, International Festival of Ethnographic Films, Nuoro, Italy, 1998
Prize for Outstanding Documentation, Pärnu International Documentary Film Festival, Estonia, 2000

Related Films
Polyphony of Ceriana: The Compagnia Sacco
A Swiss Yodelling Series: Jüüzli of the Muotatal


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