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Film / Do Not Grieve

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Do not grieve! (Georgian: არ იდარდო!) (Russian: Не горюй!) is a 1969 comedy film by Soviet Georgian director Georgi Danelia, produced by Mosfilm and Gruziya-film, starring Vakhtang Kikabidze and a lot of the best Georgian actors at that time.

The film takes place in a small town in Georgia and shows a typical life in XIX-XX century Georgia, the people and the situation there. This is quite paradoxical, as the "most Georgian" film of Danelia is based on a French novel, Claude Tillie's My Uncle Benjamen, although the setting was completely changed into XIX century Georgia.

Dr. Benjamen Glonti returns to his hometown after finishing St. Petersburg University with great plans and hopes. The life in town goes on as before, but, unlike his sister Sofiko, with whose growing family Benjamen lives, his life doesn't seem to be going anywhere. That's when Sofiko decides to marry him to the daughter of the old pharmacist. And that's when all hell breaks loose.

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This film provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Much of the film is parties thrown by the old pharmacist. They aren't alcoholics, but they surely drink a lot. Many of the oft-remembered quotes are said by drunk characters.
    Musician: I've been sitting on this tree like a bird for hours!
    Priest: Play on, or I'll curse you.
  • The Cameo: Famous Armenian actor Frunzik Mkrtchyan, who would play a much bigger role with the main character's actor, Vakhtang Kikabidze, in another Danelia film, Mimino, in 1977.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The prince sentences Benjamen to kiss his ass while the chorus of his henchmen sings a jolly song. Later Benjamen gets even — both a kiss and a song.
  • Dramedy: As are most of Danelia's films.
  • Miles Gloriosus: The lieutenant, who challenges people to duels, then doesn't come. Then he runs into the prince, who just shoots him.
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  • Translation Convention: The setting is a Georgian town, but as the film was made for the whole Soviet audience, all the dialog is in Russian. The songs, on the other hand, remain Georgian.

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