The story takes place in a village in Abkhazia (Georgia) during the War in Abkhazia (1992–93) that displaced many people. Among the displaced were many Estonians who lived in the area but returned to their homeland during the war. However, two Estonian men, Ivo and Margus, remain in a village in order to harvest the season’s crop of tangerines. While they are going about their business, they get caught in the crossfire between two small bands of rival soldiers. Two of the fighters survive. Ahmed is a Chechen mercenary on the Abkhazian side, and Niko is a Georgian. Both are badly wounded, but the two Estonians take them in and nurse them back to health. Although the two rival combatants vow to kill each other once they’re both ambulatory again, their time spent convalescing softens their belligerence.
Estonian film “Tangerines” is a story of awakening humanity in the midst of violence, told with intimacy and elegance by Georgian film director and screenwriter Zaza Urushadze. Nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language film in 2015, “Tangerines” is the spare yet haunting tale of an older Estonian man who cares for two wounded soldiers from opposite sides of the 1990s-era war in Georgia. The film reveals compassion to be the ultimate response to centuries of political, cultural and ethnic conflict, a compellingly relevant message for contemporary audiences.
Nominated for Best Foreign Feature Film, 87th Academy Awards (2015)
Nominated for Best Foreign Feature Film, 72th Golden Globe Awards (2015)
Special Award of Mannheim-Heidelberg and Audience Award – International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg 2013
Best Director Award from Warsaw International Film Festival
Best Estonian Film, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2013
Best Director – Tbilisi International Film Festival 2013
Crystal Phoenix for Best Picture and for Best Screenplay – 32nd Fajr International Film Festival 2014
Best Picture – Bari International Film Festival 2014, Jury Grand Prix – War on Screen 2014