In Bloom

In Bloom

Georgia’s reputation as the latest cinematic hotspot for emerging talent is enhanced further by “In Bloom,” an absorbing, intelligently assembled coming-of-ager that revolves around two pubescent gal-pals growing up in 1992, just after independence was restored. Co-helmed by Georgian Nana Ekvtimishvili (also the scripter) and German Simon Gross, the pic feels indebted less to the likes of local luminaries Sergei Parajanov and Otar Iosseliani than to recent Romanian cinema, not least because of the involvement of ace d.p. Oleg Mutu (“Beyond the Hills”). As such, it’s a tiny bit derivative, but still has plenty of potential to travel.

Shy but beady-eyed Eka and her more precocious and confident friend Natia (Lika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria, respectively, both excellent) are best friends in that turbulent way only 13-year-old girls can be. They often bicker but find more solace in each other’s company than they do at home. Eka is largely ignored by her boy-crazy big sister, Sophiko (Maiko Ninua), and preoccupied mother, Ana (Ana Nijaradze), who’s struggling to raise her kids while her husband is in jail for reasons clarified only at the end.

At the crowded apartment where Natia lives, everyone lives in a permanent state of civil war (one that echoes the offscreen conflict with Abkhazia), waged with screaming and violence, especially between Natia’s drunk father (Temiko Chichinadze) and bitter mom (Tamar Bukhnikashvili).

Pretty Natia has already caught the eye of several local boys, including handsome Lado (Data Zakareishvili), who plans to go to Moscow for a while to earn some money, and the more thuggish Kote (Zurab Gogaladze). In an interesting variation on Chekhov’s adage that a gun introduced in the first act must go off by the third, the script has Lado give Natia a revolver for her protection while he’s away, an odd love token that becomes an object of fascination between the girls, who end up using it in different ways over the course of the narrative.

Eka seems to need protection, too, given she’s constantly taunted by local bully Kopla (Giorgi Aladashvili), who waits like a troll under a bridge every day to threaten Eka on her way home from school. But the relationship between Eka and Kopla isn’t a simple victim-tormentor dynamic, as the last act proves.

Although editor Stefan Stabenow has that annoying Euro-arthouse tendency to assert the pic’s high moral seriousness by holding nearly every shot, no matter how inconsequential, for 15 seconds too long, the narrative nevertheless smoothly weaves its numerous plotlines together to suggest the intricate fabric of these people’s intertwined lives. It works as an intimate drama about two very young woman destined by differences of class and character for very different fates, and also as a portrait of a fascinating period in the country’s social history. With the opening up to the West and the collapse of the Soviet Union, things are changing rapidly, and femmes like Eka and her sister have no tolerance for old customs that insist, for instance, that girls must be virgins when they marry.

A terrific scene involving a gaggle of teenage girls gossiping, smoking and arguing about who’s a slut gets this idea in a nutshell. Indeed, the pic has a few other tour-de-force sequences, including a family dinner at Natia’s that escalates into total meltdown, and a wedding scene that features a magnificently expressive dance by Eka shot in a single take.

— Leslie Felperin, Variety

In Bloom

Fri March 14, 2014, 7:30 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

Georgia, 2013, in x w/ English subtitles, Color, 102 mins, DP , x, NR



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Thu Apr 27, 2023


At Muenzinger Auditorium

Sat Apr 29, 2023

The Illusionist

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...