History Demands Proofs…
Apparently it is worth to turn back to the film” History of Christianity in Abkhazia” produced recently by Moscow filmmakers and ordered by Holy Abkhaz Mitropolia. During the film show me as other spectators were surprised with the discrepancy of pictures and off-screen text. Without any doubt, images are shot professionally, some cadres look very spectacular. But when talking about concrete things, a spectator sees eternal ruins without names and dates and this is boring.
Then questions arise. If we are told that the cave in which Simon Cananit prayed in solitude, was preserved then why isn’t it shown to us? If according to the legend a great saint of Christian church Joann Zlatoust died in the place of Coman, so why then we do not see this place in the film as there now a monastery for men is located, and this witnesses the continuation of a tradition. And so on.
The point is not only in the very discrepancy. During the film show the spectator may suspect that there is nothing to shoot in the essence and nothing was preserved in Abkhazia and maybe there had been nothing ever, no ancient Christian monuments except unidentified and unexplored ruins. We know that monuments exist, but they must be shown to a stranger to believe. If such film will be presented in the Internet, many ill-wishers will assert maliciously that the authors fabricated from nothing. But if an ancient Christian stony baptismal bowl of IV-VI centuries had been shown in the excavations of Tsibilium, if while showing of Ambara church from many sides, at least it would be said that it had been built by Byzantines in VIII-IX centuries and rebuilt in XIII by Genoese who baptized Abkhaz slaves before sending them to Italy, the spectator would sense the depth of the past and fragrance of genuineness.
I understand well Tengiz Tarba who was responsible of this project. It has been his new experience, the process of producing charmed and inspired. It is natural that after such inspiring fever he fell in love with the film. This is normal. But with time getting necessary experience he will realize the divergence between the film pictures and the text and feel disappointed as I do. Generally, honestly speaking, it is not necessary to refer to foreign documentary film makers. In our country appeared good professional. So far last year Manana Kokoskir and David Avidzba shot a very nice film about Varvara Bubnova. Both pictures and the text were well-founded and emotional. After the premiere the Russian ambassador Semen Grigoriev noted a high professional level of the film and said that it was not shameful to show it also on the channel “ Culture”. Probably the Russian documentary film makers have both the techniques and experience better, but ours know local reality and this is more important for historical films. Exactly that is why I do appreciate a creative energy of New Aphon fraternity and I want the production ordered by them correspond to their aspirations.