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Wrestling

19:26 | 23.06.2016 | Viewed 14267

"The unknown wrestler"
Wonderful feature-length documentary film about Georgian champions

The wrestling has always been a favorite sport for Georgians, and this sense of love became the basis for legends and myths. According to one of the legends the European, World and Olympic champion had to prove his invincibility in his own village. It’s incredible but many champions became the "victims" of this tradition and were defeated in wrestling by the countryman.

The Director, TemoTsava decided to find the defeaters of champions and direct a film about them. Filming took place in the years 2007-2014 . This is what the director says: "When I started looking for the participants in the scrum, we met a lot of champions, but to find the unnamed defeaters did not turn out to be easy. Later we were lucky to discover two elderly friends, wrestlers RaminLomsadze ("phantomas") and ZakharElerdashvili ("horse"). They are 79 and 85 years old and are fiercely struggling to save the oldest Georgian Wrestling traditions. In spite of their age, they constantly attend wrestling competitions in various villages. Georgian wrestling has acquired the spiritual meaning for them.

Again, let’s listen to the director: "Previously, the competitions were held in the immediate vicinity of the church. Shakro and Ramin,”fantomas” are witnesses and participants of such wrestling contests. But times have changed, and now the church no longer permits the vicinity for wrestling. Shakro and "Fantomas" want this ban removed. They constantly apply to Patriarchate with the request to restore the ancient wrestling tradition. Now listen to Shakro: "wrestling in the vicinity of church had particular attractiveness. Here wrestlers fought for the title of a champion, which could be only obtained at feast.

Wrestling, dedicated to saint names, with different manners and rules and without the weight categories, was held during feasts. Any courageous volunteer could fight a Titan. The winner was considered a champion. Shakro, a man of medium height, was a genuine wrestler. He says "weight meant nothing to me." Shakro defeated VakhtangBlavadze, the legendary wrestler at that time. He recalls his unforgettable adventure with so much charisma and sincerity that due to this episode, the film is worth seeing. Generally, it is a real Georgian film about genuine.

Georgians. In one episode the former rivals Vakhtang and Shakro were recalling the place and the time of their fight. Later Vakhtang invited Zakhar home. Vakhtang's wife complained to her husband: “how could you invite home your defeater!” In Alaverdi Cathedral, there is a medieval fresco which depicts a wrestling scrum. It just can’t be a pure fantasy of an artist.

It is well known that all frescoes were always performed at the request of authority. TemoTsava: "wrestling figures on the fresco, in our opinion, were of the ideological importance. The depiction of St. George on the same fresco contributes to a mood-enhancing aspiration of a fighting-man. The Nation needs Positivity. Ancestors seemed to have had a more profound intention. They carefully took care of the spiritual mood, strength and courage of the nation. They comprehended the importance of the factor. Practically, the Ancestors’ idea was the concept of a fighting nation.

Now, wrestling near the magnificent temple is no longer permissible. There is another parallel in the film: BekaGviniashvili, a boy with a nickname of "Tyson" from Ruis, was 12 years old at the beginning of the film shooting. During shooting, Beka, the film hero grew up and got the honorary place in Georgian judo team. "Tyson" won many European competitions. At present he holds a title. In 2016 at Rio Olympics Beka represents the Georgian team in the category of 100 kg.

The film "The wrestler" is a Latvian-Georgian joint project. Participants are, TemoTsava, the director and the producer of “PALESTRA” from Georgia and UldisCekulis, the VFS producer from Latvia. At the beginning the film project was financed by Latvian Television and by Latvian and Georgian Film Centers. A lot of work is done; the montage is finished; out of a-250-hour material only a -3 -hour useful material is chosen; only the final version, a full hour is left to be completed. This requires 30 thousand dollars, which is important for the completion and the promotion of the film, i.e. preparation for European sales. Material that is not included in the film will be saved in the archive. The material contains the following wrestlers: Shota Chochishvili, LavrentiKatsiashvili, Simon Maisuradze, Giorgi Gorshelidze, Amiran Vardoshvili Badri Khasaia, Shota Zukakishvili, LevanTediashvili….

The project was introduced to Fairs held in different countries. That’s why it's well-known to television procuring agents.

Exclusive rights to the project belongs to TemoTsava

Solomon Gulisashvili

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