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New Documentaries About Soviet 'Occupation'

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 12
The Parliamentary Temporary Commission on Territorial Integrity along with Azerbaijan Embassy representatives held a viewing of the documentary film Price of Freedom, as part of the 'Occupation' project, on September 9. The film presents the Azerbaijani people's fight against the Soviet regime.

"The results of the Soviet occupation are worse than that of Nazi Germany and Communism should be as judged in the same vein as Fascism," Shota Malashkhia, the Committee Chair, said. According to him, the film displays the vandalism which was carried out by the Soviet regime during the last century. "The Price of Freedom is an evident example of how Russia is involved in the internal issues of independent states," Malashkhia, said.

The documentary film "Thrice Occupation” about the Soviet occupation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is also being prepared. The film was made by Channel One's documentary film studio with financing from the Presidential Fund.

According to the statement of the Chairman of the Commission, this film will also be translated into English. Viewings of these films are planned in the Baltic states and in all those countries, which were the victims of Soviet occupation.

As the representative of the opposition Christian-Democrats, Giorgi Akhvlediani told The Messenger that the films are very interesting, providing information that the public has a demand for. "The job of public broadcasters is to respond to public demand and broadcast such films, news and so on, which are in society's interests and these films really are interesting because when the countries of the Soviet Union were fighting against the regime there was a very strained situation in Georgia and we were unable to get full information on events," Akhvlediani said. He also added however that making films should be left to filmmakers. "As for the Committee's involvement in the issue, I think that there are some other more serious issues for the country that the Committee must look after. Films, programs and so on are the job of TV channels and not parliamentary committees."

It is a sign that the parliament has lost its principal function and is now engaged in other activities, analyst Irakli Sesiashvili told The Messenger. According to Sesiashvili, showing the documentary films "might be on the order of Mikheil Saakashvili, who involves the parliament in his propaganda. The parliament has already lost its fundamental role and no other function was found for it, but this recent one." As for the films themselves, Sesiashvili had no comment, having not seen them. Sesiashvili believes that there is nothing wrong with showing the films, however, "there are a lot of materials on the Soviet period and Georgian people are educated and know very well what was going on that time. As for the current authorities, it is ironic that they show these films to Georgian society, when they themselves are acting like Bolsheviks now and their methods are not distinct from the Soviet regime's actions." The analyst also commented on Channel I, the TV channel which is broadcasting the films, calling the Georgian public broadcaster "Saakashvili's broadcaster", as, according to him, the channel broadcasts only information which is in the government's interests.