A BIG SHE BEAR
FEATURE FICTION FILM 100 MIN
Stage: Early Development
Vache (12) lives in a village, located in the Aragvi gorge of Pshavi. He witnesses the death of Gocha (22), the son of the village governor Ahab. Gocha is killed by a bear, and Ahab, infuriated, starts a struggle against the beast. The superstitious villagers are unwilling to kill the bear. In order to persuade them, Ahab, assisted by a teacher of physics, Baido, tries to cut down a sacred oak-tree (people believe that an angel ‘Monk Giorgi’ lives in the oak-tree and is a patron of the bear). However, Ahab fails to persuade the villagers and goes to hunt the bear alone. The bear defeats him and beats him severely. Ahab barely survives.
Vache is happy about Ahab’s failure, he is against the murder of the bear. He thinks that his mother turned into a bear after committing suicide, when village rejected her after giving a birth to an illegitimate child. Vache discovers, that Ahab is his Father. As Ahab, disabled, returns from hospital, Baido, who is now a manager of the village club, offers him a new plan of hunting. They manage to trap the bear and give it a drug. Then they tie it with a chain to a bulldozer and take it to the village. Later they tie the bear on the stage of a village club which used to be a church. The village is going to hold a trial of the bear, but at that moment an avalanche, roaring down from the mountain, buries the club and the village by half. The bear frees itself from the chain and hits Ahab to death. People flee from the club in panic. Vache notices Baido who is pointing his gun at the bear. Vache tries to stop him. Then he recognizes that Baido could only wounded her and the bear runs away in the wood...In his dream Vache sees a big hand stretching down from the sky and raising the bear by its tail. The bear turns into seven stars – the constellation of The Big Dipper.
DIRECTOR'S NOTE AND VISUAL CONCEPT
There is a legend in the Pshavi mountains, that a woman after her suicide turned into the bear and punished villagers for their cruelty and intolerance. The central conflict of the film unfolds based on this assumption. An important topic that also is rised in the film - confrontation between Man and Nature. If a human being is unable to understand nature, if he uses force against nature, the violence will return like a boomerang and destroy him. The story develops on the background of a rich natural environment. The characters are strong and vivid. Their inner worlds, motivations, goals and wishes are unique and interesting. The village is isolated due to its mountainous location. Therefore, the mentality of the local community embraces three dimensions: the first one is contemporary, the second – historical, and the third - mythological. The myths of the Georgian highlands are based on both Christian and pagan beliefs. Every event is evaluated by the local community in the above-mentioned three aspects. Thus, some villagers truly believe that Lela has turned into a bear and returned to the village to take revenge. They think the bear cannot be killed because it is protected by “Monk Giorgi” – an angel residing in the sacred oak tree. Other villagers mockingly dismiss this myth, but they have certain suspicions because some strange force really does seem to protect the bear from being killed. Subconsciously, the villagers also feel guilty for having avoided Lela and driven her to death. Whenever the bear causes damage, the villagers think they are paying for their sin. Dilemma: Should the villagers kill the bear or not? Magic wins over logic : the bear runs free, the movie ends with Vache's actions being rewarded by the creation of his own constellation. It's the important message : embracing what we don't understand, accepting that some things are bigger than us. There is no mystical reunion of Vache with his mother, just a smile on the boy's face : he knows he's protected her, wherever she is now. This film, based on strong literary source (Mikho Mosulishvili’s novel “A Big She-bear”), has a strong potential for co-production, as well as for the international theatrical release.
PRODUCER LALI KIKNAVELIDZE
WRITER MIKHO MOSULISHVILI