Deorientalizing the Caucasus: The New Woman’s Subjectivity in Nikoloz Shengelaia’s ‘Eliso’. Zoom event December 10th 6.30pm

British Georgian Society and Life Through Cinema are delighted to present the film Eliso (1928) for BGS members to view by Vimeo, and a Zoom talk by silent film specialist Salome Tsopurashvili ‘Deorientalizing the Caucasus: The New Woman’s Subjectivity in Nikoloz Shengelaia’s Eliso (Caucasian Love)’ on Thursday December 10th 2020 at 6.30pm – 7.45pm. 

Salome Tsopurashvili is a current Georgian Studies Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. Her research focuses on the early Soviet and Stalinist cinema at the intersection of history, ideology and modifications of gender dynamics. Among her publications is a chapter titled Images of ‘The New Woman’ in Soviet Georgian Silent Films in an edited volume Gender in Georgia: Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation and History in the South Caucasus (2017). She holds a PhD in Gender Studies from the Tbilisi State University, and a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from the Central European University in Budapest.

Rusudan Chkonia

Salome will be joined, from Tbilisi, by Georgian filmmaker Rusudan Chkonia, whose debut feature was the hugely successful Keep Smiling (Gaigimet 2012), premiered in Venice and internationally distributed. Rusudan worked with Mohsen Makhmalbaf on the film he shot in Georgia The President, and was about to shoot her own film Venice, when the pandemic delayed the start. 

Completing the panel will be Dr. Dušan Radunović, Associate Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University, who has recently written on aspects of national identity in Georgian Soviet cinema. He also curated a Tyneside Georgian film festival in 2018 Screening the Nation: Georgia 1918 – 2018.

The evening will be moderated by BGS director Bella Radenovic-Tsulukidze. Please register for this event by emailing

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 968 7622 3955 Passcode: Eliso2020

Eliso has been made available thanks to GNFC (Georgian National Film Centre) and is one of the classic films of Georgian and Soviet silent cinema. This version has been restored under the direction of Eldar Shengelaia and with a score by Jemal Adamashvili. Set in 1864, the Tsarist regime is using Cossacks to forcibly resettle Muslim Chechen villages to Turkey. Meanwhile a local Muslim girl falls in love with a Christian Khevsur. It was released in the United States in 1929 as Caucasian Love. Eliso will be available to view from now until the lecture on password: BGSEliso12.20