In the Georgian city of Kutaisi, a local women’s football team constitutes the heart of a group of female and non-binary queer people, who get together regularly to hang out, to party, to hug each other, and to discuss existential issues. Their gatherings provide a cozy, safe space for these young people in a society that’s not known for embracing its LGBTQ+ community. Discrimination, exclusion, and violence are part of the daily reality for these sports enthusiasts and their friends, whether on the streets or, in some cases, within the family. When they’re together, they find the love, warmth, and safety they need to fully be themselves.
Ketevan Kapanadze doesn’t engage in cheap sentiment in this, her debut film. Neither does she put any particular emphasis on the hostile outside world—although it’s never far away. Her shots focusing on individuals are interspersed with observational scenes of the group as a whole. The director’s camera skims the outer walls of this protective bubble, making palpable the extraordinary atmosphere between the friends—as the mood shifts from celebratory and elated, to intimate and lethargic, to lively with debate.
Nominated for the IDFA Award for Best First Feature