Letters to Max

Director: Eric Baudelaire
Original title: Letters to Max
Country: France
Year of release: 2014
Runtime: 103 minutes
Colour: Colour
Language: Abkhazian, Russian, English
Subtitles: English

Producer: Eric Baudelaire
Writer: Eric Baudelaire
Camera: Eric Baudelaire
Editing: Eric Baudelaire, Laure Vermeersch
Sound: Juliette Navis, Jean Holtzmann, Julien Bonvinci
Cast: Maxim Gvinjia

Maxim Gvinjia, the former minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway republic of Abkhazia – whose independence from Georgia has been recognized by only a few countries – is a friend of director Eric Baudelaire, who has been writing him from France since 2012. In the film, these letters are presented in text form and Gvinjia’s telephone replies are read in voiceovers. Gvinjia’s personal stories and his reflections upon his nation and its history are accompanied by footage of daily life in Abkhazia, for the most part short and simple snapshots taken by a professional hand-held camera, with no apparent connection to the letters’ contents.

“The first letter that I received. It’s real letter, it’s wrapped in paper. ‘Dear Max, Are you there? Eric.’ Honestly, I am somewhere. I’m here, I’m in Abkhazia, in my office. It’s a sunny day. It’s eve of independence day.”

Letters to Max

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