Tangerines – Mandariindi (2013)


Tangerines – Mandariindi (Drama, History, War 2013) (Not Rated) D: Zaza Urushadze W: Zaza Urushadze: C: Lembit Ultsakm, Elmo Nuganen, Giorg Nakashidze, Misha Meskhi 1h 27m. Estonia, Georgia.

Synopsis: War in Georgia, Aplchazeh region in 1990, An Estonian man, Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines, In a bloody conflict at his door, a pair of wounded soldiers are left behind and Ivo takes them both in.. But they are not comrades.

Tangerines landscape

Dark poetic film from director and writer Zaza Urushadze, Ivo; a farmer and father, is the true hero, rescues two solders after a short burs of combat outside of his modest home, realising they are on opposing sides, he along with his neighbor and fellow tangerine picker Margus (Elmo Nüganen) takes on the duty to heal both men and in turn gains their respect, loyalty and trust. All Ivo wants to do is harvest his tangerine crops, in a similar vein as Mr Majestyk (1974) Ivo, alike to Charlie Bronson has a dedication to fairness and fruit, except Ivo is a bit more passive with his persuasions.. Tangerine challenges the dark of humanity and groundless prejudices, in a flawless, crisp and magnificent manner, the cinematography and music perfectly enhance the deep human drama that unfolds as Ivo and his neighbour risk everything to heal both soldiers, both physically and help to heal the mental damage and restores some basic morals with the young men who adopt him as a pseudo father. The film delivers many poignant messages; it’s bittersweet, simplistic and has a novel back-story that is embroidered through the scenes of the two soldier’s colourful insults. The ignorance and often-faceless enemy of this civil war becomes very real and exposed as brittle lies and laid to rest, as a father would deal with two bickering children. All of this is presented in a gorgeous broad landscape, with so many metaphors to look out for in this profound film, I can’t praise it enough.


Rating : 10/10

R: Father of a Soldier (1965), Leviathan (2014) Ida (2013), JSA (2000)

L: Selected Estonian Films, War Films, Farmers in Films, Beautiful Landscapes

Q: Ivo “Killing a sleeping man when he is unconscious, is a sacred thing too? I didn’t know.”

TIL: Always respect your elders.

BS: When the solders think their argument has angered Ivo (after they have both started to respect him) and he leaves the dinner table, then a disembodied voice assures them that Ivo is only pissing and isn’t upset. Another breathtaking scene is when Ivo is explaining how he will see the actor put on a play after the war, that gleam in his eyes as his reminiscing isn’t something you capture on film all that often and is marvellous.

5B: Lembit Ultsakm

DGI: Not really the best for drinking games however you could knock a shot for every tangerine picked and for every insult thrown for each other soldiers.


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