Remembering Zaza Urušadze with his final film 'Anton'

The special programme ‘Remembering Zaza Urušadze’ brings the Georgian filmmaker’s last work, ‘Anton’, to the big screen. Anton was released in the autumn of 2019 and has only been shown a select number of times since then, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

'Anton' tells the story of two young boys, living in a German emigrants village in Ukraine - Anton is german, Jakob is Jewish - whose friendship proves to be stronger than the violence, hatred, and revenge, which are planted by the emerging communist October Revolution of 1917.

The film is based on the real-life-inspired novel ‘Anton. A young boy, his friend and the Russian revolution’ by Canadian author Dale Eisler. It sheds light on a lesser-known tragic history - that of the Germans that emigrated to the Black Sea coast of Ukraine in the 19th century.

Anton (Nikita Šlantšak) and Jakob (Mõkõta Dzjadja). Still from the film.

Zaza Urušadze himself explained the idea as follows, after finishing the film: “An innocent child is suddenly forced to face a world, that has gone mad.”

The shooting took place by the Black Sea, in the same region where the events and lives of Ukrainian Germans situated themselves. Nikita Šlantšak and Mõkõta Dzjadja play the young boys. Famous Lithuanian actors like Vaiva Mainelytė, Juozas Budraitist and Regimantas Adomaitist can be seen in supporting roles. The film was produced by Ukraine, Georgia, USA and Canada. In Ukrainian cinemas, the film will be released under the title ‘Anton and the red chimera’.

Zaza Urušadze passed away due to a heart attack on December 7th 2019 at the age of 53. His most famous film is the Estonian-Georgian co-production ‘Tangerines’, which was nominated for an Oscar for foreign-language film and for a Golden Globe in 2015. Other well-known films by Urušadze are ‘Here Comes the Dawn’, ‘Three Houses’ and ‘The Confession’.

'Anton screens on Saturday the 21st at 18:00 in Apollo Solaris Cinema. The film is introduced by Natalia Rjumina and Sebastian Anton. As part of our special programme, we will also screen ‘Tangerines’ and ‘Three Houses’. The latter one will screen in Coca-Cola Plaza on Monday the 23rd at 17:15. All three films can also be watched in PÖFF’s home cinema (only available in Estonia).
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival lasts until November 29th. See the full programme here.