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Please don't watch the trailer for 'Tzameti', the debut film of Georgian director Géla Babluani. Weirdly, the trailer (here, if you must) manages to reveal much of the surprise plot of an otherwise excellent dark thriller, best watched without too much pre-knowledge.

Tzameti - 1

'Tzameti' (Georgian for 13), shot in stark black and white, has a simple premise: Sébastien, a young immigrant worker in France, steals a letter addressed to his employer, who has just died (killed himself?) of an overdosis. The letter contains a train ticket and hotel reservation, and apparently concerns some risky job with a potentially huge reward. Sébastien decides to go in his place, and soon gets trapped in a mysterious scheme.

Tzameti - 2

The film builds up slowly, with much foreboding, and it is not until halfway through that the scheme is revealed. 'Tzameti' then turns into a bizarre and deadly game in which Sébastien finds himself to be player #13 - a game savage enough to make 'Fight Club' look like a playground scuffle. What was already nerve-wrecking in the 'The Deer Hunter' here becomes a horrible Kafkaesque nightmare...

See this film - before the Hollywood remake comes out.


iffr: full or empty

' Full or empty ' ('Gol ya pouch'), by director Abolfazl Jalili , is another one of those delightful Iranian films that clothe sharp social commentary in lighthearted humor and a casual style of storytelling. Jalili, whose filmograph… Read the full post »

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