Even though last year’s film festival circuit was greatly impacted by COVID-19, with many being canceled, there were still enough opportunities for some relatively small films to break out in a big way when given the chance to screen. That’s exactly what happened with the new film, “Beginning.”
As seen in the trailer for “Beginning,” the film tells the story of a woman that is married to the leader of a Jehovah’s Witness community. With her husband away, the woman’s life begins to unravel as an extremist group attacks the religious group and a detective begins to investigate. The film stars Ia Sukhitashvili, Rati Oneli, and Kakha Kintsurashvili. “Beginning” is directed by Dea Kulumbegashvili, who co-wrote the film alongside Oneli. The film was selected as part of last year’s TIFF, Cannes, and New York Film Festival. “Beginning” also screened at San Sebastian, where it won the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress.
In our review of the film, we said, “The method that Kulumbegashvili utilizes for Yana’s self-actualization may be maddening for many, yet Kulumbegashvili doubles down on her narrative and aesthetic choices, never shying away from Yana’s social and religious constraints. ‘Beginning’ may be a tough watch, both in terms of subject matter and its filmic choices, but it’s an acute portrait of a woman awakening.”
“Beginning” is set to debut on MUBI on January 29. You can watch the trailer below.
Here’s the synopsis:
Set in a provincial town at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, the film tells the story of Yana (Ia Sukhitashvili), the wife of a Jehovah’s Witness leader whose community is under attack from an extremist group. In the midst of this conflict, and with her husband away, Yana’s inner discontent grows as she struggles to make sense of the world around her. Meanwhile, the intrusion of a local detective in her home has dramatic and devastating consequences.