The Georgian city of Chiatura was once a thriving manganese mining town. Now it's a dismal place, the bleakness of its empty streets and crumbling factory buildings only deepened by a dense layer of gray clouds. Rati Oneli surely intended the title of his film City of the Sun to be ironic. His camera roams this post-apocalyptic ghost town, capturing arresting shots of the mountainous landscape and industrial wasteland, and stopping off with the handful of people who, despite everything, live a life like any other in this cheerless place. They have jobs to go to, they have hobbies and they have ambitions. We meet a miner who spends his evenings on the theater stage, two skinny girls training for the Olympics, and a music teacher earning extra cash selling metal he hacks from half-demolished buildings. With calmness and integrity, Oneli shares his observations of a depleted society forgotten by the outside world.
Dea Kulumbegashvili for OFA, Rati Oneli for OFA
Archil Kavtaradze, Zurab Zutia Kapanadze