City of the Sun

Directed by Rati Oneli
Big World Pictures
100 Minutes
Georgia, USA, Qatar, Netherlands
Eastern European, Russian/Slavic Studies
DVD $150.00
Blu-ray $150.00
PPR $350.00
DRL $499.00
PPR+DRL $599.00

To submit an order, request a preview screener, or ask a question contact Maxwell Wolkin

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.

Chiatura was founded by Georgian poets and aristocrats in the 19th century, but was turned into a
center of industry by the Soviet regime. For the Soviets, it was the embodiment of a bright, utopian
future: Theaters, universities, concert halls, stadiums and parks were built, along with the first and
largest public aerial cable car transportation system in the world. Chiatura was a human and
technological experiment on a grand scale that ultimately failed.

A prizewinner in Madrid, Minsk, Sarajevo, San Francisco and Tbilisi, CITY OF THE SUN features
stunning vistas—still beautiful in their state of melancholy neglect—and puts a human face on a
city devastated by an industrial and economic system that sated its needs and moved on.


Awards & Recognition