Russia vs. Georgia: a Cinematic Brawl

The enemy states vent their frustrations on the big screen

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Eschewing the battle field for now, Russia and Georgia are waging war with each other on the silver screen. As Time's Simon Shuster reports, separate crews of Georgian and Russian filmmakers are rendering their own cinematic takes on the 2008 five-day war. Unsurprisingly, the films' conclusions vary greatly depending on which nationality produced it.

The Russian flick is a romantic drama depicting Georgia as a "genocidal aggressor" that invades the powerless breakaway region of South Ossetia. Eventually, the altruistic Russian military is forced to step in and protect the Ossetians.

The Georgian government, on the other hand, has taken its side of the story to Hollywood director Renny Harlin, the man behind Die Hard 2. Andy Garcia of Godfather III fame will play "the embattled Georgian President standing up to Russian tanks." Though Saakashvili has said the film was not financed by his government, Time interviewed the screenplay writer who seems to have given a more candid response:

The author of the screenplay, David Imedashvili, tells TIME that the initial funding for the project came from a Georgian government fund. Projects like this, he said, give Georgia a rare chance to hit back at its bullying northern neighbor. "Georgia is a very small country, Russia is a giant," Imedashvili says. "It's idiotic to fight a war with Russia, but we have to do something. We have to defend ourselves in some other way."

Here's a trailer of the Russian flick:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.