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The Independent Critic

Amiran Amiranashvili, Davit Gogibedashvili, Georgi Tsintsadzi
Otar Iosseliani
129 Mins.
Facets Video
Russian, Georgian and French w/English Subtitles
Full Chapterization and a Booklet

 "Brigands - Chapter VII" Review 
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Vano (Amiran Amiranashvili) is the key of a country so beautiful and rich that all its neighboring countries are jealous, yet he is beset by treachery and even deceived by his wife. A film that is best referred to as an epic that is simultaneously wise, emotionally resonant, funny and artsy, Georgian writer/director Otar Iosseliani's Brigands - Chapter VII is a marvelous achievement in biting satire and dark, desperate comedy dripping with irony and moralizing in its message that history often repeats itself in ways that can be both beautiful and downright evil.

Brigands - Chapter VII has been digitally remastered by Chicago based Facets Video in its original 129-minute format rather than the 117-minute format more known in the United States (though it should be noted that Iosseliani is a relatively unknown in this country). The film involves both time and place shifting, yet Iosseliani does so seamlessly with a cohesion practically non-existent in American cinema (Haggis, weep!).

Often referred to as the Georgian Jacques Tati, Otar Iosseliani beautifully blends the film's biting satire with its darkly comic tones and a sort of uncomfortable realism that drives home his message regarding the depressing normalcy of evil. As much visual poetry as it is narrative feature, Brigands - Chapter VII is an authoritative and beautiful piece of cinema.

Curious moviegoers shouldn't avoid the film if you haven't seen Chapters 1-6. They don't exist. It is as if Iosseliani is only reinforcing his message that history doesn't really matter because it inevitably repeats itself and the principle motives and inspirations of humanity remain the same.

For more information on Brigands - Chapter VII visit the Facets Video website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

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