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DEDE at St. Louis International Film Festival

Based on true events that took place at the outset of Georgia’s civil war, “Dede” takes place in the high-mountain community of Svaneti, where the people live far removed from the modern world. A purely patriarchal society that revolves around forced marriages, pride, and tradition dictates the code of daily life. Dina is a young woman promised by her draconian grandfather to David, one of the soldiers returning from the war. Once a marriage arrangement is brokered by two families, failure to follow through on the commitment is unthinkable. But Dina finds herself unable to love David, instead falling for his handsome friend Gegi. Humiliated after his fiancée reveals her true feelings, David takes a fateful action that sets off a chain of unforeseen consequences. Variety writes: “If there is an emblematic image in contemporary Georgian cinema, it might well be of khaki-clad men with rifles casually slung over their shoulders, clustered around a scuffed, scarred truck on a mountain road. But while just such an image greets us at the opening of debut director Mariam Khatchvani’s ‘Dede’ it’s misleading in two ways: The war it details is fought not between nations or political ideologies, but between women and men, and its frontline is a battle between tradition and progress.”