What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?

Two lovers are cursed by an evil eye in this witty and inventive modern fairytale set in the sun-dappled Georgian city of Kutaisi

Film Review by Jamie Dunn | 21 Nov 2022
  • What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?
Film title: What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?
Director: Alexandre Koberidze
Starring: Ani Karseladze, Giorgi Bochorishvili, Oliko Barbakadze, Giorgi Ambroladze, Vakhtang Panchulidze, Sofio Tchanishvili, Irina Chelidze, David Koberidze, Sofio Sharashidze
Release date: 25 Nov
Certificate: U

This second feature from Alexandre Koberidze is a two-and-a-half-hour epic made with the playful experimentation and youthful vigour of a short. Set in Kutaisi in Georgia, a city so romantically sun-dappled it makes Paris look like Cumbernauld, it’s a modern fairytale about a young man and woman, Giorgi and Lisa, who fall in love at first sight, but the relationship will never blossom. A mysterious 'evil eye' objects to the union and puts a curse on the couple (information Lisa discovers from a friendly tree sapling, traffic light and rain gutter – a scene delivered with poker-faced sincerity, like all the moments of magic in the film).

With the tension of how the hex will be overturned on the back burner, Koberidze turns his camera on the inhabitants of Kutaisi, and the city fairly bursts with lyrical imbroglio centred around two themes: love and football. Our attention falls on various groups of youngsters, from rambunctious, football-daft kids to flirty teens. We drop in on a husband and wife filmmaking duo working on a movie that requires real couples for its final section; there’s a micro-drama about a pair of football-loving dogs who are eager to watch the World Cup together but can’t decide on the best venue. 

These mini-stories drift along and intertwine in beautiful, surprising ways that are simply breathtaking, effortlessly joyous and, cumulatively, deeply moving. And as for the thwarted lovers, Lisa and Giorgi? Let’s just say the transformative power of cinema proves greater than any evil eye.

Released 25 Nov by New Wave; certificate U

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