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Rezo Gabriadze: The Screen Turned Dark

Georgiy Daneliya

The great director, the one and only cinematographer Georgiy Daneliya whose great films captured the screens  of the former Soviet Union or foreign countries, brightened the life of people, dignified  the public, died. This publication is a friend’s farewell, a tribute to the great creator, the author of screen stories of  four masterpieces of which is  RezoGabriadze.– We have been friends and worked together for 50 years, I do not know how to say… I got acquainted with him when he was already a very popular director, the creator of such movies  like “Walking the Streets of Moscow”, “Thirty Three”, “Seryozha”.


– “Afonya”?..

– No, “Afonya” had not been shot yet … He loved the audience and the actors. His films were demonstrated always to a full house. I did not even think about working in the cinema. I was an artist and I wanted to go to the end with my profession,

He needed one or two days to contact with a person and to make him or her his confederate.

For the first time we met in Tbilisi, at the fifth floor of the hotel “Sakartvelo”.

Could  I have ever thought that our friendship and cooperation would last for over 50 years?

Before starting work on “Don’t Grieve” Gia arrived in Tbilisi and met with EldarShengelaia. He  wanted to work with a  Georgian script writer. Eldar recommended me to him.

At this time EldarShengelaia’s  film “Extraordinary Exhibition” was under production. I was the author of the story, and therefore Eldaradvised Gia to invite me.

I also say that both of these films were premiered at the Moscow Cinema House in the same week.

In two weeks after our acquaintance I arrived to Moscow. Then there was a small three or four-storied hotel of the Georgian Mission,  inSkaternyiPereulok in Georgia. We started work there, in one room. After  two weeks we transferred  to 23 ChistyePrudy (Clean Ponds), where the parents and family of GeorgiyDaneliyalived.

“Don’t Grieve”
“Don’t Grieve”

– Whose idea was “Don’t Grieve”?

– Gia’s. More precisely, it was the idea of his mother Mary, who worked as an assistant to MikheilChiaureli in “Mosfilm”  and was a well-known person among the  Moscow’s creative intellectuals.

We worked from morning till evening. This work  lasted for more than two months. Gia was an architect byprofession, that was very beneficial to solve the integrity and harmony of the film.

He loved friends and had many of them, he was  interested in their stories.

Once again, I went to Moscow to create a script of “Mimino”… The wonderful actors played there.


I was nervous about one of the episodes of this movie. Then the USSR had no relationship with Israel. In the film, Miminocalls  from abroad to Telavi and accidentally contacts by phone the Jew from Kutaisi who lives  in ​​Tel Aviv after he had moved from Georgia to  Israel. This short dialogue was very meaningful and ended with  the Georgian folk song “ZhuzhunaRain Came” performed by the duo. I think everyone remembers it.

The script was  taken to Goskinofor approval.

Two days later, Gia called me from Moscow:

_ Everything is fine, your fears have not be justified!

A load off my mind  asI had  much to lose.

Then there was the movie “Passport”, a visit to the Holy Land, a lot of interesting meetings.

Then came the time of  my favorite movie –“Kin-Dza-Dza”.  We worked on this film the longest time, almost seven months.


I did not think that our life would soon be similar to that one described in “Kin-Dza-Dza”.  And suddenly a terrible call … Gia’s god father called  me to tell the news.

The screen turned  dark.

The life of the Great Creator ended.

He was a very kind, virtuous man. He had  a very difficult, hard, dramatic life. He had never made anybody feel his ordeals.

He was a sweet, gracious. Most talented  person. He left poetry, joy, beauty to the people

Let’s thank him.


Instead of the epilogue:

In all the TV stories and programs dedicated to GeorgiyDaneliya all popular RussianTV channels called him a great director!

His fellow people, colleagues say that he certainly knew his price, but he never tried to demonstrate it. He was a sophisticated  man and always knew what to do and what to say.

He made all his films with love. His love in Georgia was genuine in his blood  and life. He was born in Tbilisi, his mother and VerikoAnjaparidzewere sisters.

He  always enjoyed good news from our country. Even such a fine thing, for example, as the victory of Tbilisi Dinamosoccer team (when Dinamo was an extra class team) was an event for him.

He was always aware of the case.

He loved the work which in a course of time became his life, not a mode of life but the life.

The  life ended.





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