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13 Tzameti

Do you feel lucky?

Gela Babluani’s feature-length début could be the best film you will see all year. Shot in glorious black and white, 13 Tzameti takes the old thriller paradigm (one room, two people, and a gun) to a whole new level. 13 Tzameti reminds one of the French Nouvelle Vague in every way that matters. If it wasn’t for the modern cars, one would think this film came right out of 1960s France. The film is beautifully shot, and Babluani builds tension to a breaking point – then proceeds to crash right through it. Not for the weak-hearted, 13 Tzameti cannot be watched without squirming in your seat. Its visuals are almost unbearably tense, but so utterly compelling that it’s impossible not to watch. Born in Georgia, Babluani has experienced violence his entire life, and has seen how the powerful, like those in Pasolini’s Salo, use violence to keep their power. He also brings along his observations about luck. Luck has no remorse and no morality of its own. It doesn’t care if you are guilty or innocent. 13 Tzameti isn’t a morality tale, but this year’s winner of the World Dramatic Prize at Sundance is a remarkable début of undeniable power. It reminds us of one basic fact of life: at any point, anyone’s number may be up. – James Emanuel Shapiro,
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Directed by: 
Gela Babluani
Running Time: 
France / Georgia
French with English subtitles
George Babluani, Philippe Passon
Screenplay by: 
Gela Babluani

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