Film Synopsis

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 in Abkhazia. To question the unstable distinction between fact and fiction, 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.

Filmmaker's statement

I wanted to creatively interpret dreams and memories that may not otherwise be perceived or even conceived. I wanted to show that the 1992-93 Abkhaz-Georgian war is not a history but a contemporary reality as the trauma caused by it passes onto their children and grandchildren. The scope of the film is more universal as it touches upon subjects of memory, intergenerational trauma, war and displacement. What We Shared shows that manoeuvring between all these different aspects requires subtlety and at times, fiction. The film draws upon subjective scenarios that permit the performers to gain control over their chaotic reality by challenging it with productive imagination.

Film production Stills
Film Poster
Cast & Crew Portraits
Film trailer

Production info

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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

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