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Somewhere, in a remote place by the sea, 22-year-old Sébastien repairs the roof of a house. The house’s owner dies of an overdose after receiving a strange invitation indicating that he’d get a lot of money if he follows instructions. Sébastien decides to take his place. Thus begins a treasure hunt that will lead Sébastien to an underground place shut off from the rest of the world, a nightmarish place where men bet on the lives of other men.
An extraordinarily assured debut feature, 13 Tzameti won the top prize at Sundance. Owed money, and lacking any direction in life, Sébastien decides to take the place of a dead man on a mysterious mission. Sébastien doesn’t know what the man did, but he does know that it was awfully lucrative. Thus begins his journey toward a contemporary vision of hell, a world in which anything, even one’s life, is a commodity to be bought, sold, or wagered on. With several extraordinary scenes, not for the faint-hearted, 13 Tzameti is less shocking for what it shows than for its portrait of the amoral world it so convincingly captures. Son of a major Georgian director, Gela Babluani is a talent to watch. In French with English subtitles. Description adapted from the Film Society at Lincoln Center.
October 13, 2006
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