THE FIRST SWALLOW

USSR, 1975 (MIFF 1976)

Director: Nana Mchedlidze

The inhabitants of a small Georgian village get together in order to form a soccer team. They practice and develop their sporting skills until they are convinced they have developed an effective side. But they make the mistake of challenging professional soccer players of a British ship. (The foreign team is portrayed by American sailors, stranded in one of the southern Soviet seaports whilst their ship was being repaired.)

This is an unusual example of a woman (Nana Mchedlidze) directing a film about men's sport; she elaborates nostalgically on the good old days of life in Georgia at the turn of the century.

'Most of the team scenes are played with a graceful ballet-like ensemble quality but individual acting, headed by majestic vet actor Dodo Abachidze, is outstanding.'

Werb, Variety


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