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Beginning(Დასაწყისი)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Georgia

2020

2h 5m

Director Dea Kulumbegashvili

Starring Ia Sukhitashvili, Rati Oneli, Kakha Kintsurashvili, Saba Gogichaishvil

Genre Drama

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Yana is the wife of a Jehovah’s Witness religious leader who begins to question her faith—with dramatic and devastating results. She approaches her husband, David, with her questions, but David can’t seem to understand her feelings. A gorgeous, devastating, treat of a film that explores spectatorship, suffering, paradise, and religion.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

88

RogerEbert.com by Carlos Aguilar

To its mild detriment, Beginning stays on a cerebral plane even at its most ravaging and emotionally intense. But in its muted havoc lies a potent intellectual laceration.
83

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

In Beginning, the borders of the frame aren’t just the iron bars of a jail cell, they’re also the garden walls of Eden, the tempting hiss of the snake, and the angel of the lord who interrupted Abraham from killing his son.
75

Slant Magazine by David Robb

The low-key, serene natural beauty of Beginning’s setting provides a counterpoint to the often-disturbing events of the film.
100

The New York Times by Devika Girish

Rarely has a film made me so painfully, viscerally aware of the impotence of spectatorship — of the dubious remove from which we watch suffering.
100

Variety by Guy Lodge

Beginning is not a derivative work. Its slow-cinema trappings aren’t merely plucked from the films that have taught its maker along the way, but prove a rhythmically apt, intuitive way into the headspace of its protagonist, a woman who feels her very life has been put on pause.
67

The A.V. Club by Katie Rife

Whether this challenging film is more than the sum of its formally inventive parts will depend on a viewer’s patience, as well as their tolerance for ambiguity and discomfort.
40

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Kulumbegashvili’s style is confident, if derivative. Her technique now has to evolve away from these self-conscious influences.