In Georgia have detained 27 people after protests and unrest caused by the screening of a film about homosexual love between two dancers of the Georgian national ensemble “And then we danced”, according to the Georgian interior Ministry. On the evening of 8 November, the radicals of the ultra-nationalist organization “Georgian March”, the clergy and their supporters tried to disrupt the premiere of the film in Tbilisi and Batumi. Organizers said that will not allow the display of “pornographic, perverse” a movie that “infringe upon national tradition”, reports “Interfax”.
The premiere of the film was held in five halls, but the main events took place near the Tbilisi cinema “Amirani”. Faith in the Park opposite the protesters with crosses and icons burned the flag of the LGBT community under the cries of “long live Georgia without sodomy!”, the “Echo of the Caucasus”.
The protesters wanted to break into cinema, and to encourage the audience to leave, but also penetrate into the film camera to interrupt the show. One priest managed to circumvent the police cordon and enter the theater, but the police force brought him out of the building.
Many of the protesters stood and prayed loudly, “so that God saved Georgia from sodomy”. Some clergy were violent and obscenely insulted those who came to watch a movie, JAM reports-news.
“These forces – the enemies of the Georgian people. Today the police, who want to appear masculine, will come home to my kids and what they say to them? I helped in the rape of the Georgian people! This film they have all raped. When I saw that they’re going to watch this disgusting film, and the police do nothing… I have to say if the film will be released today, I am living not leaving” – said one of the participants in vestments.
Once the radicals began to throw firecrackers and firecrackers, the police stopped letting people in the cinema. As a result, the session failed to get many spectators with tickets. When in the “Amirani” ended the first session, the group of opponents of LGBT people went to the emergency entrance of the cinema and began to throw the audience empty bottles. The incident escalated into new clashes with the police.
In the attack suffered a civil activist Anna Subeliani. The protesters recognized her, began shouting insults, and then hit a stone her in the face. The girl was hospitalized by ambulance, according to her, she almost lost an eye. It required seven stitches, according to “news-Georgia”. The leader of the opposition Republican party Davit Berdzenishvili was also attacked and was not able to go to the cinema, the police had to take him away.
In Tbilisi, police detained for insubordination and disorderly conduct 24. Initiated four criminal cases on the fact of attack on Subeliani, Berdzenishvili and two police officers, as well as on the fact of damage of a police car. The accused in the attack on Subeliani detained. Three other people detained during the protests in Batumi, near the cinema “Apollo”. The participants were thrown into the building of a firecracker, and the doors of the cinema pelted with eggs.
The protesters brought placards with slogans: “No to sodomy in Georgia,” “This film is an insult to the Georgian people”. Ultra-nationalists called the police to let them inside to “protect” minors who could go to the show at the Apollo. The situation at the cinema remained tense for about an hour. Several times between protesters and police occurred a verbal altercation.
The public defender of Georgia, Nino Lomdzhariya called the police to begin an investigation against the organizers of the riots at the cinema “Amirani”. According to the Ombudsman, the stock had nothing to do with peaceful protest and “go beyond freedom of expression”. Lomdzhariya added that the leaders of various far-right groups and ultra-conservative politicians openly called on protesters to storm the theater and confrontation with the police.
The film’s Director, “And then we danced” Levan akin to his Instagram called absurd a situation when people are attacked just because of the fact that he decided to watch his movie. Akin called the painting his “legacy and a love letter to Georgia”. He said that he created the film “compassion”, trying new perspective on Georgian culture, “considering all, rather than some”.
“And then we danced” – a joint Georgian products, the company Takes Film and the Swedish company French Quarter Film. At the Cannes film festival the film won the seventh place in the top ten films, more than 20 countries have bought the rights to his show. The film received several major awards at film festivals in Sarajevo, Ghent, Odessa and carlsbad. Sweden has put forward taken in Tbilisi the picture for the award “Oscar” in the nomination “Best foreign film”.
In Georgia, the film shows only three days: from 8 to 10 November. According to the Association of theaters of Georgia, all tickets for the session sold out.