Wednesday, March 14, 2018

"Variety" reviews documentary on Georgian wine

14.03.2018 (Hvino News) A leading American film and entertainment trade magazine Variety has reviewed the new documentary on Georgian wine "Our Blood Is Wine", directed by Emily Railsback and featuring a Chicago sommelier Jeremy Quinn, who visit Georgia. Railsback and Quinn tour through various regions, sampling varietals while getting up-close-and-personal with the Georgian winemakers.

Variety's author Scott Tobias writes: "Documentary begins with what Quinn jokes is a child’s question: Where does wine come from? The answer takes him and Railsback to Georgia, where the winemaking process is so old that an archeologist points to Neolithic ceramics from 6,000 B.C... With iPhone in hand, Railsback and Jeremy Quinn, a Chicago sommelier, explore the 8,000-year-old roots of Georgian winemaking and celebrate its resilience under a host of outside threats".

Variety points out that documentary lacks a strong point of view: "Quinn’s experience as a sommelier should make him a natural tour guide, but he often hovers around the edges of the frame, graciously affirming the value of these wines but rarely asserting himself more forcefully. Though Railsback will occasionally raise her voice off camera, she doesn’t approach the subject with the rhetorical fire of a film like Jonathan Nossiter’s “Mondovino,” which used similar concerns about mass-scale winemaking as a platform to rail against cultural homogeneity. On matters of wine and culture, she is more appreciator than provocateur."

In Scott Tobias' opinion, such approach would work better if “Our Blood Is Wine” delivered on the intimacy it promises. "Using an iPhone instead of a digital camera gives Railsback the opportunity to engage with her subjects’ lives as unobtrusively as possible, and she knows enough of the language to develop a rapport with them. Yet her documentary isn’t rigorous enough to be considered observational; it’s more of a patchwork of history, interviews, vineyard tours and glimpses into longstanding techniques and rituals. If the film’s identity were only a fraction as strong as qvevri winemakers, it might have been more compelling".

Variety weekly was founded  in 1905 and has become a world's leading news resource on film industry.

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