After young Gela Babluani's electrifying feature debut "13 (Tzameti)," which won Sundance's World Cinema award, "The Legacy" is a disappointment. This French-Georgian coproduction follows a group of under-used, fish-out-of-water French thesps, travelling through Georgia's hill country, who find themselves involved in a bizarre blood feud.

After young Gela Babluani’s electrifying feature debut “13 (Tzameti),” which won Sundance’s World Cinema award, “The Legacy” is a disappointment. This French-Georgian coproduction follows a group of under-used, fish-out-of-water French thesps, travelling through Georgia’s hill country, who find themselves involved in a bizarre blood feud. Co-directed by Gela and pere Temur Babluani (“The Sun of the Wakeful,” winner of the 1993 Silver Bear at Berlin), pic has pretty scenery but none of the edginess that won “13” fest laurels and multi-territory sales.

Three young French friends (Sylvie Testud, Stanislas Merhar, Olga Legrand) arrive in Tbilissi to check out a castle one of them has inherited. With interpreter Nikolai (Pascal Bongard repping deadpan Georgian whimsy), they take a two-day bus trip, during which they meet an old man (Leo Gaparidze) and his grandson (“13″ protag Giorgi Babluani) travelling with a coffin. They are headed for the old man’s execution by a warring clan, which is meant to end a long-running blood feud. Things don’t go as planned but so what? Life goes on. Containing a bare minimum of suspense and excitement, story unspools like a shaggy dog story missing the punchline.

The Legacy

France-Georgia

Production

A Les Films de la Strada/Quasar Pictures/Solimane Prods./Premium Films/MK2 coproduction. (International sales: MK2, Paris.) Produced by Gela Babluani, Bruno Daniault, Jean-Marie Delbary, Olivier Oursel. Executive producer, Fanny Saadi. Directed by Temur and Gela Babluani. Screenplay, Jacques Dubuisson, Gela Babluani, Temur Babluani.

Crew

Camera (color), Tariel Meliava; editor, Gela Babluani, Noemie Moreau; production designer, Xmaladze (SIC) Temu, Claude Billois; costume designer, Khatuna Tsrakaya. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (competing), Oct. 16, 2006. Original title: L'Heritage. Running time: 78 MIN.

With

Pascal Bongard, Giorgi Babluani, Sylvie Testud, Stanislas Merhar, Olga Legrand, Leo Gaparidze, Augustin Legrand, Guivi Sikharulidze.

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