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People are hard at work extending the railroad in a remote Georgian mountain village. When they’re done, the new Silk Road Express will run through here. But before this high-speed connection between China and Europe can go anywhere, a tunnel has to be dug—a tunnel that goes right through a mountain where villagers have their fields and pastures. In his office at the station, an old-time stationmaster prepares for his role in the future, when a lot more trains will be coming through the station.

There are promises of prosperity and progress, but in the dreamy atmosphere of the fairy-tale village, the coming of the express train feels more like a nightmare. With the rumbling in the mountain coming ever closer, the villagers look on impotently as the ground fractures and crumbles. Uncertainty is growing, because no one knows whether the houses are going to have to be knocked down or not.

Language and communication problems between the Georgian and Chinese workers lead to fierce arguments, and ultimately a tense strike. The gorgeous, disengaged shots perfectly reflect the surrealist atmosphere of a changing world order.

World Premiere at IDFA 2019

Participant: Nino Orjonikidze - Georgia