Eric Baudelaire’s essay-film about the partially recognised state of Abkhazia offers a serious analysis of the country’s political situation in the form of correspondence between two friends.
Parisian artist and filmmaker Eric Baudelaire sends a letter to his old friend Maxim Gvinjia—the former minister of foreign affairs of Abkhazia—a microstate in the Caucasus that has been unrecognised by most countries for over twenty years. To their surprise, the letter reaches Gvinjia (which Baudelaire sees as an indirect confirmation of the state’s political existence), and is soon followed by seventy-four other letters, to which Gvinjia replies with audio and videotapes.
Footage of abandoned administrative buildings, social centres, and houses left in ruins is intermingled with videos of Maxim Gvinjia’s life with his family. The use of several media (images, written and spoken word) and the interaction between two different kinds of political thinking create a uniquely personal yet critical take of Abkhazia’s politics.
Letters to Max
Director Eric Baudelaire
France, 2014. 103 min.