After 13 years, Tsitsi initiates a reunion of his former classmates with a seemingly harmless cause: they have not seen each other since graduation and the reason for the gathering is to remember school and have a drink. However, Tsitsi has a secret motivation.
Ever since Corn Island made the shortlist back in 2014, Georgia has been producing impeccable films one after another, including Beginning and Brighton 4th. The new submission is called A Long Break. Director Davit Pirtskhalava has created a tight, well executed film about high school, about the past, and how it shapes us as adults.
The film starts with Tsitsi’s failed suicide attempt. After his father calls an ambulance we see him again having recovered from his wounds. He’s still struggling internally with his thoughts and emotions, but this time he has a different idea. He wants to create a reunion with some of his friends, since 13 years has passed since his classmates were together in the same room. He’s able to get everyone to meet in the school and he’s even persuaded his childhood bully, Guga to come.
He wants the chance to talk to him again.
One-by-one every invite starts arriving to the school. They head to their classroom and sit in their childhood desks, where they spent years of their lives studying, playing, and learning. And sadly more. In the room, there’s a quick shot of the chalkboard, where there’s a picture of a young boy crying outside the school. The stage is set. And the reunion is about to begin.
With an exceptional screenplay, and fantastic performances from the entire cast, the film brings us back to the past to think about our experiences in school. We spend so much time with our classmates, yet we end up losing touch with the majority of them. Where are they all now? Are they married? Are they successful? Are they happy? Are they holding grudges from being bullied?
“The easy mark gets bullied, that’s life. If you don’t bully, you’ll be bullied. If you’re a fool, you’ll be bullied.” It’s crazy to think how are lives can be shaped by our experiences in school. It shapes who we are as adults. Everyone’s perception and memories are different. And the wounds from those who were bullied can linger longer. A long break of 13 years may still not be enough to move on from the past. “May your kid not see what we have seen, and see that which we have not.” That’s the hope from every parent and it’s a reminder to us all to be compassionate towards others.