Ramin is a veteran Georgian wrestler, perhaps the only wrestler in the world known to have won seven opponents in mere 55 seconds. Although his physical stature is far from imposing, his handshake is as firm as a wrench. He lives alone in the town of Kvareli in north-eastern Georgia, an area famous for its red wines and its living tradition of folk wrestling festivals. His only companions are a cat and the memories of his dearly loved mother and of his splendid victories in the wrestling arena. For Georgians, wrestling means more than just the national sport. It’s Georgian culture, Georgian lifestyle and, for many, it’s even Georgian religion. For centuries, the Georgian popular wrestling tradition (Chidaoba) has been characterized by a strictly respectful and gentlemanlike attitude towards the rival wrestler. The Palavani (absolute champions in wrestling) have always been athletes endowed not only with physical excellence but, above all, with chivalrous and moral excellence. At least that’s what it used to be up till very recent times, and Ramin is perhaps one of the last living Palavanis. He has trained a good number of younger wrestlers who venerably call him ”Teacher Ramin” and who are the only ones to remember him on his 75th birthday. When they arrive, the house suddenly becomes alive with a truly Georgian feast of music, toasts and wine.
But there is something missing in the old wrestler’s life. Perhaps Ramin, the man with an unbeatable heart, was too much of a winner to let himself be won by anyone, not even by a woman’s love. Today he is beginning to feel otherwise. He is finally ready to surrender. There was a girl he fell in love with 50 years ago… Her name was Sveta, and she lived in the village of Kvenatkotsa. Ramin gets on the train and goes to the remote Kvenatkotsa to seek out his long lost love. Will he find her? Will she remember him? Will a woman finally enter Ramin’s life? The film presents Ramin’s journey through the Georgian landscape and through the landscape of his memories.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.