102 minutes, Georgia-Germany-France, 2013, Colour, D-Cinema

This film closes on Thursday, May 15th.

Tbilisi, 1992: the Soviet Union has collapsed and the newly independent Georgian state is in turmoil, with food shortages, desperate poverty, rumours of war and vigilantes on the streets. It’s not an easy time to be teenagers from troubled families, yet 14-year-olds Eka (Lika Babluani) and Natia (Mariam Bokeria) have their friendship and retain some naïveté amid the madness that surrounds them.

Caught between childhood and adulthood, with their country’s old traditions conflicting with its uncertain future, the two girls struggle to find a path to escape the chaos of their circumstances. Built on brilliant performances from its two young leads, this debut feature is a deeply affecting and distinctive coming-of-age story that transcends the clichés of the genre. Loosely based on screenwriter Ekvtimishvili’s own experiences, In Bloom combines authoritative realism, thriller elements and a subtle pro-feminist message to great effect. (Notes By Michael Hayden.)

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