Lost Legends

The night before last, I routinely opened my inbox and behold what I found there: the trailer of a 120-minute Georgian feature film in-the-making about the legendary Ekvtime Takaishvili – the nation’s pride and conscience, a man of God, as the title of the movie described him appreciatively. The delightful mail was from the young Georgian director, producer and script-writer, graduate of The Los Angeles Film School, Nikoloz Khomasuridze, who, in 2014, founded a company called LOST LEGENDS, aimed at bringing back to life the most outstanding Georgian historical stories and heroic characters.

One of Georgia’s most reliable and honest pedagogues, historian, and archaeologist Ekvtime Takaishvili was among the founders of Tbilisi State University. Yet fate would have it that he found himself in France in 1921 following the elimination of Georgia’s fragile independence by the newly established soviet power. He took with him the Georgian national treasury – numerous valuable and highly-prized pieces of Georgian art and other samples of our national material heritage. Attempts to purchase parts of the treasury were made by certain renowned European museums, and not only: even crooks and thieves were interested in getting their paws on the Georgian artifacts. Some offered huge sums for the exhibits, some threatened to kill him, but Ekvtime would never succumb to temptation or fear, and it occurred to that great Georgian not once to sell even a single piece of the precious collection, notwithstanding his suffering extreme economic hardship throughout his 24-year exile.

His wonderful wife and real comrade-in-arms, Nino Poltoratskaya, patiently and valiantly stood by her husband in the unendurable fight to preserving, intact, the most valuable national property.

Thanks to this eminent Georgian gentleman, the national treasury was finally brought home, also in many ways thanks to Joseph Stalin's good relations with General Charles de Gaulle, in April 1945, landing safely back in Tbilisi airport.

This is the story that triggered the idea of shooting the much-awaited feature film about Ekvtime Takaishvili, financially supported by director Khomasuridze himself, about 5,000 Georgian patriots and several patriotically-minded companies. With the help of their contributions, 105 minutes of the film have been shot, but 15 minutes of the film still remain to be done. The process has been ongoing since 19 May 2015, and, of course, it will not stop until the job is complete. I was fascinated by the excerpts I was sent and can’t wait to see the entire movie on the big screens of Georgia and the rest of the world.

The creative team was recently in France to shoot scenes in Paris and Leuville. The final footage will be completed on May 26 in Tbilisi, reflecting the arrival of Ekvtime Takaishvili and the Georgian treasury with him. As a matter of fact, never in the history of independent movie-making has a historical feature film of this caliber been shot exclusively with the help of popular fund-raising and without the involvement of any state organization.

In addition to its art value and tremendously enticing plot, the film about a dedicated and self-sacrificing patriot and his amazing love story will serve as an example for the generations to come in this country and beyond. We will see wonderful actor Rezo Chkhikvishvili in the role of the great Ekvtime, playing masterfully and with utmost sincerity in a high-class performance. Keep your eyes open for the finale on www.EKVTI.me and www.fb.com/ekvtimefilm.

This country and its people are eager to see the shooting of this film finalized. It is our people’s product and property, as is the Georgian Treasure itself, saved and preserved by Georgia’s own Saint Ekvtime Takaishvili.

If you want to donate to the film-making cause, here are the details (for payments in USD): TBC Bank Head Office / SWIFTCODE - TBCBGE22 / # GE66 TB70 6673 6020 1000 04 / Receiver - LOST LEGENDS LLC / Address #35 Gazapkhuli str. Tbilisi 0177 Sakartvelo (Georgia)

Nugzar B. Ruhadze

04 May 2017 17:12