Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love, and they set up a date before knowing the other’s name. Viewers know them as Giorgi (Giorgi Ambroladze) and Lisa (Oliko Barbakadze). Lisa walks home alone, and three spirits warn her of a curse placed on the young couple; the fourth spirit is interrupted by a passing car. Lisa and Giorgi wake up the next day, changed beyond recognition and still seeking each other. From here What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? opens into a magical realist tale of the ancient Georgian city of Kutaisi, where an omniscient narrator tells us that this is an unfathomably violent time of history. All that is shown, however, are the unflappable street dogs and their football-loving friends of all ages finding joy in pick-up games and food trucks. Kutaisi has kept any threat at bay through human connection.

Alexandre Koberidze creates a luxurious, saturated vision of a city where the everyday is miraculous. Under the cinematography of Faraz Fesharaki, the mix of 16mm and digital film casts a warm eye over daily rituals and a sharp eye over the occasional fast-paced sequence interrupting the largely long, faceless shots. The film runs over 150 minutes (a fact its narrator remarks is unnecessary, as the film has nothing to say, per se), but its love for the world and its gentle, genuine characters – all of whom seek solace through common rituals – are what make this film truly magical. It is a life-affirming worldview that innately and poignantly justifies itself.

What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? knows the answer to that question has as many answers as there are people crowded around an electronics shop to watch the latest football match. Charming, magical, and romantic in theme and tone, Koberidze has created a marvel of the mundane.



CAST: Ani Karseladze, Giorgi Bochorishvili, Oliko Barbakadze, Giorgi Ambroladze, Vakhtang Panchulidze, Sofio Tchanishvili, Irina Chelidze, David Koberidze, Sofio Sharashidze

DIRECTOR: Alexandre Koberidze

WRITER: Alexandre Koberidze

SYNOPSIS: A meet-cute is derailed by a curse, but the magic of Georgian city Kutaisi lives on in football and food trucks.