The Legend of the Surami Fortress
Directors Sergei Paradzhanov and Dodo Abashidze resurrected an old Soviet Georgian folktale as the basis for their film The Legend of Suram Fortress. The fortress in question is forever under construction, and forever collapsing before the last brick can be laid. The advice of a fortuneteller is sought out; the young fellow sent out to seek this advice happens to be the son of a man who years earlier had jilted the fortuneteller. Out of pique, she tells him that he must be walled up in the fortress' wall, else the structure will continue to tumble. So many ancient legends are based upon self-sacrifice that one would think that Legend of Suram Fortress would have nothing new to offer--and one would be quite unfair to this well-crafted film to think along those lines. Never as brilliant as the critics made it out to be, Suram Fortress is still an immensely satisfying work from a gifted filmmaking team.