On April 6, the AUBG Documentary Movie Club welcomed students to the screening of “Biblioteka,” a documentary film by the Georgian director Ana Tsimintia. The movie, produced by the Match House Film, is a story about municipal library in Zugdidi, a city in westernmost part of Georgia. “Biblioteka” is the first Georgian documentary shown by the Doc Club.
“Biblioteka” tells the story of 25 different women who have one thing in common – they all devoted their life to the library. The atmosphere in the library is almost frozen in time: the renovated reading room has no readers; the books on the shelf are covered in dust; most of the time, it’s too silent even for the library. The women get in fights daily; talk about the future, make-up and their dreams. They do everything they can to make the stagnation around them dissolve.
Tsimintia decided to make a documentary about the library when she returned to her hometown, after graduation from a university abroad.
“I decided to film a documentary about them because it reflected on a lot what was happening in society, which I saw after being away for long,” she said. What she discovered was different from what she remembered from her childhood.
The movie is shot in the style of observational documentary. True observational documentaries are supposed to be shot under certain rules: no background music, no interviews, no scene arrangement, and no narration. Tsimintia followed most of them.
“I wanted to do the observational documentary. For me, the interesting part was to hear them talk and capture their being by observing,” she said. “The interviews wouldn’t have given me anything. It’d just have been a formal talk on how great the library and people there are.”
The end result is supposed to make the viewers believe they are witnessing first-hand the experiences of the subject. “Biblioteka” definitely achieved this goal.
The audience also got a chance to take a look at the trailer of Tsimintia’s next documentary, “Pioneers.” During the Q&A session that followed the screening, Tsimintia answered the questions of the audience about “Biblioteka” and “Pioneers.” She told the audience about the equipment she uses to film and the hardships of production. She advised the young filmmakers to avoid looking for something extraordinary, but to see events as stories and people as characters.