Discovering Georgian Cinema: The Wishing Tree (1977)


The Wishing Tree is an interesting and full of meaning film directed by genius filmmaker, Tengiz Abulazde. In Abuladze`s film there are lots of symbols and life lessons that can be learned by so many. But what does it mean when you live in a world where one man believes in hope, the other one in the power of rain? What if there is someone else who thinks that the devil rules our every movement? These, and many other details are highlighted in this film, where two people will find their own wishing tree – called love. But these two forget one thing; not every wish meant to come true – even though that wish is to love and to be loved…


The Wishing Tree begins with a gorgeous scene, a field of roses, where an even more beautiful horse, named Tetra, is in agony. A young man, Gedya (Soso Jachvliani) rushes to his rescue, but loses the battle, and his horse dies surrounded by roses. This scene will certainly be remembered, as Abuladze will once again bring the audience back to the red roses, where in the end, only the careful viewer will understand its deep meaning. By the time Gedya finds the strength to recover from his loss, he and the entire village is stunned by the incredible beauty of a woman who has come to their town- Marita (Lika Kavjaradze). As soon as Gedya and Marita see each other, they fall in love. But their happiness won`t last forever. The elders of the village have decided to marry her to a wealthy young man against her wish…

The Wishing Tree is set in a pre-Revolutionary Georgian village, where at that time they had their own rules and prejudices that were the law. Even though a man and a woman are equal in their society,  Abuladze brings an academic meaning to it. He makes it clear that having privilege does not mean you may take advantage of it. Abuladze crafted every scene with so many symbols and meanings that it`s hard to cover all of them here. However, one thing must be emphasized in The Wishing Tree is how Abuladze shows that even after a huge disaster, a thunderstorm that ruins everything in its path, life still goes on; the Wishing Tree will still be there, waiting, for the one who will finally make the right wish…

In conclusion, everything about The Wishing Tree is pure perfection – it`s story, performance, cinematography, and beautiful photography that grabs the audience right away and allows the viewer to experience everything first hand.

Prior to the screening of The Wishing Tree at TIFF Bell Light Box, Susan Oxtoby — Senior Film Curator at BAM/PFA and programmer of the travelling retrospective Discovering Georgian Cinema — will discuss some of the chief thematic and stylistic characteristics of Georgian cinema, illustrated with images and clips from films showcased in the series. She will also share her experiences researching this project, which took her to archives in Tbilisi, Moscow, and other European cities over a three-year period.


Schedule: Friday, May 8th


Film be projected on 35mm

Full Schedule can be found here:

6 thoughts on “Discovering Georgian Cinema: The Wishing Tree (1977)

    1. Thank you. This is really great movie. Glad that Georgian Cinema had another chance to shine in Canada. In case if you’re in Toronto, go to TIFF Bell LightBox and see Eliso (1928). It will be projected on 35mm

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