Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Smiling Georgia

In his election campaign, Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakašvili promised new teeth to the poor. Dentists began to remove teeth – but then what happened?

Luka Beradze has created a beautifully peculiar documentary that takes the viewer to the Georgian countryside, to a village that was affected by the United National Movement party’s campaign in 2012. The “Smiling Georgia” campaign promised new teeth to the poor, but when the election was lost, so was the promise of dentures. Many residents of the village had already had their teeth removed, but accepted their fate with fatalism and humor. They carry on with their daily lives; weddings are celebrated, farm animals are cared for. Life goes on, even without teeth. 

The documentary demonstrates the impudence and opportunism of the ruling elite. A TV journalist arrives to the village, trying to find someone to help on her show, but when the person needing help isn’t quite what she was looking for after all, the spectacle is canceled and the cameras turn off. The political game is completely disconnected from the reality of life in the village. The documentary is delicately humorous, and the astonishing views of the Georgian countryside as well as the charming local lifestyle will leave an impression on the viewer. The heroes of this story are the people of the village, who never even asked for new teeth.

Salla Nazarenko (translated by Mira Sairanen)

Luka Beradze is present in the screening of his film Smiling Georgia on Fri, Feb 2.

Original Title: Gimiliani Sakartvelo
Language: Georgian
Subtitles: English
Length: 62 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2023
Production Country: Georgia, Germany

Director: Luka Beradze
Producer: Nino Chichua, Anna Khazaradze
Production Company: 1991 Productions
Distribution Company: East Silver Caravan, Institute of Documentary Film
Editing: Nodar Nozadze, Joseph “Soso” Bliadze, Luka Beradze
Cinematographer: Lomero Akhvlediani
Music: Alexandre Kordzaia
Sound Design: Jascha Viehl