DVD Review: Tangerines

You can't just let this beautiful fruit go to waste.

One of the cool things about blogging is that you "meet" other film fans from all over the world. I never thought I'd chat with not one but two bloggers from Estonia.  A lot of foreign movies are a bit more special to me now because I can associate them with other members of the film blogging community. My first ever Estonian film was just that as well. 

In the early 90's, The Apkhazeti region was fighting to break free from Georgia. In the middle of this conflict is Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak) An Estonian man who has stayed behind to help his friend Margus (Elmo Nuganen) harvest his tangerines so he can sell them and return to Estonia, like the rest of their village has. When a shoot out happens quite literally in Margus' front year, Ivo takes in two wounded men. Ahmed, (Giorgi Nakashidze) a Chechen missionary and Niko (Misha Meskhi) a Georgian soldier. Though they are on opposite sides of the war, Ivo forces them to recover as peacefully as possible in the same house. 

I was a bit nervous going into this, because my memories of learning about this time in history were a bit rusty. Thankfully, the film doesn't require an extensive history lesson as the commentary provided by the characters was enough. (Though I found myself reading more about it afterwards) The performances were grand, and you can't help but admire Ivo for being such a stand up guy. 

I wish this would've taken home the Oscar. It really went beyond any expectations I had. The setting is small, but the story so rich and interesting.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Cinema is a big fraud." - Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak)


13 comments:

  1. This sounds amazing. I love films that enrich my understanding of history and other cultures.

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    1. I do too. It's nice to have a refresher sometimes in world history.

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  2. So nice of you to mention us Estonians with this particular movie because it is one of my favorites. I usually tend to dislike Estonian cinema because it wants to say too much with too little, uses too much symbolism and is caught in its own ideas so much that it is tiresome and a bit too melancholy, Tangerines though, a different story!

    Lembit Ulfsak is also one of our most beloved actors, and he was so excited to go to the Oscars this year.. so seeing and knowing that non-Estonian people like this movie makes it all worth it.. even though we didn't win the award. :D

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    1. Tangerines should've won. I liked it better than Ida and Leviathan. This is now high on my list of favorite foreign movies.

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  3. I heard about this when it got nominated for the Oscar earlier this year but couldn't find it anywhere.
    Hope to see it soon.

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    1. You can get it on Netflix DVDs if you're in the States. I'm not sure about other countries though.

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  4. I watched this a while back, and though it was quieter than I expected, I liked how it boiled a war down to one household.

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    1. I agree. It was interesting to see it condensed like that, and to watch two men who really had nothing to do with the war until it ended up in their front yards.

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  5. So glad to hear you enjoyed it! This film really was something. Small yet powerful and well said, a story "rich and interesting".

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    1. "Small yet powerful" is a perfect way to describe it.

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  6. I don't always see all of the foreign Oscar nominees, but I need to give this a look.

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