How to Teach a Bird to Speak
Film, 11 min.
2016 / 2018
Policemen and hunters move in the borderlands between Georgia and the Russian-held territory of South Ossetia. A Georgian children’s story and an anecdote about a speaking bird narrated by a border guard fuse with expectations, dreams and hopes in a region which seems to be stuck in a perpetual loop.
Police is patrolling the borders, but they are not allowed to act in a case of emergency. Patrol cars cruise about but everyone knows it’s nothing but a staged theater play. In the de-weaponized and de-militarized no-man’s-land of the border strip, hunters are on the prowl to shoot quails. They are constantly monitored by heavily armed border posts on the opposing side. Sometimes hunters are kidnapped, they say.
How does one teach a bird to speak? How does one hunt that which is invisible? How does one protect time? And how does one un-stop it?
A film about waiting in an impossible situation. Waiting for the enemy’s army to invade the town. Waiting for the main road to be paved. Waiting for something to do – at last.
Camera: Nora Longatti, Till Wittwer
Sound, Editing, Direction: Till Wittwer
Interviews: Nora Longatti, Deirdre O'Leary, Till Wittwer
Translation: Marta Todua, Maya Razmadze, Tekla Aslanishvili