Seven inhabitants of a de facto state on the Black Sea unfurl a web of stories about loss and displacement through the re-imaginings of dreams and memories of the 1992-93 war between Georgia and the separatist region of Abkhazia. These re-imaginings are interwoven with auto-fictional narration and archival materials that have been processed through an AI technology. The Black Sea permeating the film’s world acts as a metaphor of both an idyllic holiday destination of utopian happiness; as well as a perilous force, a place of conspiracy and death. What We Shared employs emotive soundscape and imagery to produce a sensory reflection on artistic practice as a powerful binding force and an act of resistance to dominant power structures.
In What We Shared we creatively interpreted dreams and memories that may not otherwise be perceived or even conceived. I wanted to show that the 1992-93 war in Abkhazia is not a history but a contemporary reality as the trauma caused by it passes onto younger generations. What We Shared engages with memory, intergenerational trauma, war and displacement and in doing so, it demonstrates that manoeuvring between all these subjects requires subtlety and at times, fiction.
What We Shared can now be viewed globally on Klassiki.
Performers: Sergey Arutiunov, Tamriko Basaria, Manana Bigvava, Aslan Enik, Oleg Koryavov, Vladimir Nikonov, Sonia White
Voice artist: Leena Makoff
Language: English, Russian, Abkhaz
Director: Kamila Kuc
Script: Kamila Kuc, based on contributions from all performers
Poem: ‘A tea of raging sins’, a poem by Daur Zantaria
Music written and performed by: Timothy Nelson.
Soundtrack available here.
Edited by: Kamila Kuc, Nina Żabicka
Editorial consultancy: Elizabeth Lowe
Motion graphics: Nina Żabicka
Script and subject consultancy: Manana Bigvava, Aslan Enik, Thomas de Waal
Research: Kamila Kuc, Manana Bigvava, Sergey Arutiunov
Abkhaz music research: Nina Nachkebia, Tamara Woronova, Kamila Kuc
AI Software Engineer: David Drakard
Additional AI assistance: Reed O’Beirne, Andrew Philip
Deep Dream Generator processing: Kamila Kuc, Nina Żabicka
Sound design and mix: Mark Ashworth
Colourist: James Tonkin at HANGMAN
1st Assistant director: James Norton
Second camera operator: Nina Żabicka
Director of photography: Kamila Kuc
Production manager: Vika Kapikyan
Production assistant: Naya Obidova
Stills photographer: Arutan Chitanava
Studio sound recording Abkhazia: Astamur Japua, Alchemy Sound Studio
Studio sound recording London: Pat Dynowska, Leena Makoff
Producer: Kamila Kuc
Executive producer: Katie McGowan
Associate producers: Asida Butba, Reed O’Beirne
Made in collaboration with: SKLAD Cultural Centre, Sukhum/i, Abkhazia
Funded by: Arts Council England, NJL Foundation, Coventry University