Film review: “Blue Mountains”

Maybe you have to be as old and wise as me to realize it, but movies made in the last century are really better than today’s animation/superhero/sequel/prequel crap. Actually, the difference is so stark that even Soviet films from the 1980s are better than most films playing at your local cinema now.

If you don’t believe me, try “Blue Mountains or an Unbelievable Story” (ცისფერი მთები ანუ დაუჯერებელი ამბავი), a 1983 production from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. For a pre-glasnost film, it is surprisingly critical of the inefficient economic system at the time.


The story evolves around a young writer, full of hope, who has just submitted a manuscript to a publishing house, where sadly, no one really cares too much about his manuscript, or indeed any manuscript or books or publishing at all. People are much more concerned with their pet peeves, be it the moving of a painting or the moto-ball tournament going on outside. Or they are as smart as Guivi, my favorite character, who finds an even more creative way to evade work.

But the plot is not that important, as it’s a rather absurd movie. Not impossible-to-understand absurd, but laugh-out-loud absurd, mostly thanks to the witty dialogues. And even after the fall of the Soviet system, the film hasn’t lost its relevance. What once troubled collectives and factories, now torments anyone working in a large organization: bureaucracy, lack of direct communication, opaque decision making processes.

And if it was an allegory of the Soviet Union, the collapse of the publishing house and the company moving to a new, fancy-looking building can be seen as a prophetic allegory of Georgia in the first years after independence: a new building with fresh paint, but the same people working there, continuing with the same habits, bringing their problems with them.

Luckily, the Soviet Union is pretty weak on copyright enforcement, so the full movie is available on YouTube – with English subtitles:


Do you have some recommendations from the same period?


About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Cinema, Economics, Georgia and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Film review: “Blue Mountains”

  1. Thomas Bernhardt says:

    Could not agree more with today’s movies lacking originality or just plain a “remake” of a “remake”..another good series is Deutschland 83…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Andreas, thanks for this interesting Review! :)
    I would only notice the excellent music work by Giya Kancheli.

  3. Ana Gertrud Cretoiu says:

    ein sehr guter russischer film,natuerlich mit nazis ist :die Insel(Deutsch Untertitel)Ostrov!

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