Georgian Service correspondent Salome Asatiani
, a long-time film critic in her native Georgia, took part in a post-screening discussion at the One World International Film Festival
, which was was held from March 10 through the 18th in Prague, Czech Republic.
Salome took part in a post-screening discussion of "The Leader is Always Right
" (watch the trailer
in Georgian), a film by Salome Jashi about nationalistic youth summer
I was really thrilled, and really flattered that they offered me this position in the festival. It was a great experience.
camps financed and run by the Georgian government, and Andrei Nekrasov's "Russian Lessons
," (watch a clip
) a stirring documentary about both the 2008 Russia-Georgia War and the struggles in Abkhazia throughout the 1990s.
The discussion mainly focused on Nekrasov's film, which had garnered significant attention in the run up to the festival. Salome shared her view - echoed by many members of the capacity crowd - that "watching the film ['Russian Lessons'] was one of the most difficult experiences" she had ever had with a film.
"It's a very heavy, heavy film," Salome says. "It's impossible not to be haunted by the images, especially in the last 30 minutes of the film."
As the panel concluded, the discussion continued with the microphones off, with patrons peppering Salome with questions on what the reaction would be should the film ever be shown in Russia, and Georgia's political relationship with the West.
Salome Asatiani (second from right) discussing the films with the crowd in Prague (photo by Lubomir Kotek)
For her part, Salome says that she enjoyed the experience and was flattered to be asked to discuss such important films in such a high-profile venue. A former lecturer and teacher, she had participated in many festivals in Georgia, but never in Prague where she lives and works now.
"This was new to me, speaking in front of a Czech audience about Georgia in this important film festival," she says. "I was really thrilled, and really flattered that they offered me this position in the festival. It was a great experience."
The One World Film Festival is currently on tour throughout the Czech Republic, and will be held in Brussels from April 12-19.
-- Taylor Smoot