Movie review: "Tangerines" is a simple but gripping look at human side of conflict

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The 2015 Foreign Language Oscar nominee “Tangerines” is powerful in its simplicity, a moving look at the nature of war through a simple act of humanity.

Set in 1992, it tells the story of Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak), an Estonian tangerine farmer who is awaiting harvest when conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists comes to his doorstep. Ivo takes in two injured men on opposing sides, bringing the ethnic tensions under one roof.

This import from Georgia packs an amazing statement about human nature and war into a taut 87 minutes. Writer-director Zaza Urushadze delivers a surprising mix of tension and some oddly warm humor.

Ulfsak is near-perfect as a face of pacifism in the midst of violence. If the lesson about our similarities outweighing our differences is obvious, the conclusion is unexpected and unforgettable.

“Tangerines”Now playing at the Gateway Film Center

3 ½ stars out of 4