Georgia, Lithuania | 2017 | 91 min | Georgian
In the mountains of Georgia, the elderly Ali is approaching the end of his life as village healer and custodian of a spring with powerful properties. He has three sons, none of whom are interested in following in his footsteps. Instead, Ali looks to his daughter Namme. But Namme, who is developing a closeness and sympathy with handsome stranger Merab, has other ideas. As Ali’s spring begins to fail—possibly due to the construction of a local hydro power station—he recalls the ancient lore that it will be replenished only if a sacrifice is made… With a muted palette, a preoccupation with water in its many forms, and a soundtrack that explores both the natural and the industrial worlds, Namme compellingly evokes a (mixed Christian and Muslim) culture on the edge of extinction, whilst contemplating the age-old dilemma of whether the young should follow their predestined paths or carve out their own niches in life.
Zaza Khalvashi was born in 1957 in Batumi, Georgia. He holds degrees in philology and film direction from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, where he was mentored by prominent Georgian directors Tengiz Abuladze and Rezo Chkheidze. From 1977 to 2004, Zaza worked for Georgian Film—one of the world’s oldest studios. He is the founding manager of independent studio BAFIS and currently divides his time between filmmaking and teaching at Batumi Art Teaching University. Zaza’s work includes the shorts Time (1981) and Echo (1985), as well as the features There Where I Live (1990) and Solomon (2015). Of Namme’s inspiration, Zaza says, “The idea for the screenplay is dictated by ancient Kolkhetian mythical motives, which were later reflected throughout Georgian literature as well. It concerns the application of human sacrifice for preventing the destructive power of natural disaster.”