Screened as part of NZIFF 2017

Hostages 2017


Directed by Rezo Gigineishvili Thrill

This nerve-jangling political thriller depicts a shocking true story from 1983, when a group of young middle-class Georgians attempted to hijack a plane to Turkey to escape the Soviet Union.

Georgia / Russia In Georgian and Russian with English subtitles
104 minutes DCP


Mikhail Finogenov
Tamara Tatishvili
Rezo Gigineishvili
Vladimer Katcharava


Lasha Bugadze
Rezo Gigineishvili


Vladislav Opelyants


Jaroslav Kaminski
Andrey Gamov

Production designer

Kote Japaridze

Costume designer

Tinatin Kvinikadze


Gia Kancheli


Tina Dalakishvili (Ana)
Irakli Kvirikadze (Nika)
Giga Datiashvili (Koka)
Giorgi Grdzelidze (Sandro)
George Tabidze (Oto)
Giorgi Khurtsilava (Lasha)
Vakhtang Chachanidze (Irakli)
Ekaterine Kalatozishvili (Tamuna)
Darejan Kharshiladze (Nino)
Merab Ninidze (Levan)


Berlin 2017


Closely based on real-life events, this impressive thriller from Georgian director Rezo Gigineishvili depicts an infamous hijacking in exacting detail. In Tbilisi, Georgia, 1983, young actor Nika and his bride-to-be Ana are busy planning for their upcoming wedding, while secretly planning a drastic act to overcome the ban on Soviet citizens travelling abroad. Using their honeymoon as cover, they and five other friends, all from privileged middle-class backgrounds, plan to hijack a scheduled flight to the port city of Batumi so they can take it across the nearby border to Turkey and freedom. The stifling paranoia of their risky preparations is vividly portrayed, but it’s in the intensely gripping hijacking and the shocking aftermath that Gigineishvili truly shines. —MM

“Gigineishvili proves to be a skilled storyteller.... especially acing the hijacking scenes... The near half-hour reconstruction of how it all went down – from the group’s arrival at the Tbilisi airport to the bloody outcome of a tragic night – dominates the entire second act. Aided by superb production design that renders the terminal building and the plane itself wonderfully, authentically aged, the scenario plays out with utter believability. The action choreography also excels... Without lazy explosions or over-the-top CGI, you actually see the insane danger of the situation. The precise, never panicky editing must be credited as well for shaping, containing, heightening the delicious tension throughout.”— Zhuo-Ning Su, The Film Stage