Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, The
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Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, The

A host of young Georgian citizens act out their lives.


DIRECTED BY TINATIN GURCHIANI (Georgia, Special Presentations)
stars 3andahalf9


Saturday, April 27, 1 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)

Monday, April 29, 8:45 p.m.
ROM Theatre (100 Queen’s Park)

Thursday, May 2, 6 p.m.
Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond Street West)

In 2011, Tinatin Gurchiani put out a casting call for Georgian citizens between the ages of 15 and 25, asking specifically for people who felt their life stories were worthy of being put on film. The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, an award winner at Sundance, is the odd and intermittently enchanting fruit of that labour. It’s a set of interviews with the would-be stars, conducted by the director and spliced with a docudrama about hardscrabble Georgian life starring the newly deputized actors.

Gurchiani’s bifurcated structure is an interesting approach, insofar as it invites viewers to think about the staged reality of well-known neorealist films like Vittorio de Sica’s The Bicycle Thief, which make similar dramatic use of local faces and settings. The fictionalized passages yield some stunning images of the Georgian countryside, as well as nicely realized snapshots of families in crisis and prayer. The interviews, with the subjects centred against various dilapidated backgrounds, are good-natured, if occasionally morose. One only wishes that Gurchiani’s delved a little deeper into his subjects’ stories than he does in both sets of vignettes.