Giga AGLADZE: "I would make it a priority to make Georgia the world’s main movie set"

Georgian cinema has a long and glorious history, but what place does it occupy in the today’s world of cinematography? Which new movies from the Caucasus are worth seeing, from a professional’s viewpoint? Which cultural and social tendencies are now in the focus? 

29.09.2019 (Caucasian Journal). Today Caucasian Journal talks about cinema with award-winning director Giga (George) AGLADZE, renowned for films including “Henry” and “A Girl with Slides”.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Dear George, thank you for attention to our readers. Recently Tbilisi dwellers were over excited with filming of “The Fast and the Furious” in Georgia. The place where I live is close to one of filming locations, so I noticed its huge scale and overall hype. With all respect to the Hollywood franchise, I wished I could witness a national production of same scale in the streets of Tbilisi, given Georgia’s own bright national cinema tradition. Or perhaps the glory days of Georgian cinema are gone, and the country must be happy selling its landscapes to foreign productions?

Giga AGLADZE:  Greetings, and thank you for this question. Beyond doubt, Georgian cinema has the potential to produce films of this level. However, in my personal opinion, currently we don’t have experience that big, neither have we necessary wide market and duly trained filmmaking staff. Shooting big franchises like this is very helpful for Georgian film industry as they carry interesting experience for our staff involved in filmmaking and mark us in bold on the world map. This means that Hollywood producers will eventually reach out to Georgia more and more for filmmaking reasons and it makes fantastic opportunities for Georgian tourism, as well as for Georgian cinema and economy in the long run.

Laura THORNTON: "Georgians increasingly believe the country is moving in the wrong direction"

Do Georgians have savings? Are they happy with the quality of healthcare? How does Georgian public perceive the performance of government and political parties? Is the approval for EU and NATO membership as strong as it used to be? 

19.09.2019 (Caucasian Journal) For the most up-to-date answers to key social and political questions, Caucasian Journal traditionally turns to Laura THORNTON, Global Associate/Senior Director at National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Georgia. Today Laura kindly agreed to comment on NDI's latest public opinion polls exclusively for readers of CJ.
(Read the Georgian translation here.)

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Dear Laura, welcome back to Caucasian Journal. A lot has happened in Georgia since our last conversation six months ago (read here). And as always, your organization has the latest information on public sentiments regarding the most burning social and political issues. With great interest I have reviewed NDI's latest public polls results, and I do recommend to our readers to review your original charts and tables. But as always with statistical data, their interpretation is critically important. What's your general impression of the latest changes in Georgian public attitudes - could you summarize it?

Laura THORNTON: Thank you very much for having me back! NDI and our partner CRRC are proud to have the most transparent polls in Georgia, so you can find all of our data at You can download the full questionnaire, do your own cross-tabulations, generate tables and graphs, etc. We really do hold the view that opinion research – particularly since there is not a lot being done here – is a public good, and we love to see a wide array of people put our data to use.

Expert: Control of digital infrastructure enables China to impose demands by force

global focus
Photo credit: Wikipedia
13.09.2019.  Caucasian Journal from time to time presents to our readers articles which focus on issues of a worldwide importance. Their global impact is influencing many regions including the Caucasus. 

Today in our "GLOBAL FOCUS" is the technological expansion of China. Our special guest is sinologist Professor Olga Lomová from Charles University in Prague. This interview was given to Robert Schuster, managing editor of Caucasian Journal's partner journal Aspen Review.

Robert Shuster: How do you see China’s expansion into Central Europe? As a sinologist, you ought to see this as a positive development…

Olga Lomová: The fact that I am a sinologist does not necessarily mean that I can’t have a critical perspective on the subject of my interest. Sinologists shouldn’t be expected to welcome everything that comes from China, particularly in the realm of politics. Chinese influence in Central Europe, which I have observed for several years now, must be seen as part and parcel of global processes. Even though many people won’t admit it, we are only a tiny part of the globalized world—we are neither the center of Europe or an isolated entity but rather part of a single world in which China represents a great power that aspires to acquire even more weight in order to impose its demands on everyone else.

RS: Is China pursuing some sort of covert agenda?

OL: It is indeed, and not particularly a covert one, if you read Chinese newspapers and pay proper attention. Unfortunately, most analysts tend to underestimate the media rhetoric in China and until recently failed to ascribe sufficient importance to political speeches, editorials and, crucially, to appearances by the Communist Party Secretary - General Xi Jinping.