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Buba, 1930 - Akademie - Kunsthalle Zürich

Buba, 1930

Buba, 1930, Noutsa Gogoberidze (1902–1966), film, black/white, no sound, 39 min.

Long suppressed and nearly written out of film history, Buba is an exceptional documentary filmed in the northern reaches of Georgia, in the remote mountainous region of Racha. The artistic collaboration between Georgia’s first ever female director, Nutsa Gogoberidze, and the influential avant-garde painter David Kakabadze, was originally intended as propaganda. The film is a work of exhilarating cinematic splendor featuring luminous cinematography and dynamic montages depicting the living conditions of the poorest in society, who live in the mountains and the rise of the Soviet Union.

Nutsa Gogoberidze was born in Saingilo, Georgia, and studies philosophy at the university of Jena, Germany. At the age of 25, Gogoberidze became the first female Georgian film director. In 1928, she realized her first documentary Their Kingdom (Mati Samepo), in collaboration with Mikheil Kalatozishvili, followed by Buba in 1930. Her third film Illtempered (Uzhmuri), in 1934, was the first Soviet feature film by a woman director. Gogoberidze was in close contact with filmmakers Alexander Dovzhenko, Sergei Eisenstein, and Mikheil Kalatozishvili.

In 1937, Gogoberidze was arrested as «a family member of a people’s enemy», and as such sentenced to 10 years of exile. Her films were banned. After returning from exile, Gogoberidze was not allowed to return to film and instead worked in the lexicography department of the Linguistics Institute in Tbilisi. Her work was rediscovered only after her death in 1966.