the lighthouse-maria saakyan
Set on the fringes of an unspecified war, Lena returns home to an attractive and traditional mountain village in the Caucasus in an attempt to persuade her grandparents to leave.While the film deliberately avoids any specific reference to place, the fact that screenwriter Shavgulidze and director Saakyan come, respectively, from Abkhazia and Armenia, gives a clear indication of the film’s inspiration. Lena’s mission begins to lose urgency when the train link to Moscow is cut. But this is a film that is, above all, a poetic reflection on memory and loss. A slow and languorous narrative focuses on a sense of place; of a world that remains in the imagination no matter how often one leaves or attempts to leave. The sense of leave-taking and return remain constant elements in a film that provides an unusual and lasting testimony>>.