Facing the loneliness of an empty existence at his post in Tbilisi, Georgia, a German diplomatic official initiates a tenuous friendship with a tough twelve year-old girl from one of the capital's outlying refugee camps. Their first encounter, when the girl tries to pick his pocket, leads to a slowly developing bond between the two as the girl first begins earning some money by carrying the German's groceries for him then gradually starts staying at his apartment to get away from her difficult life on the street and in the camps. Each hardly able to speak a word that the other understands, the unlikely pair connect over small things, like cigarettes and computer games, as the German slowly manages to overcome the girl's innate distrust with his kindheartedness. But the German is having a rather emotionless affair with his co-worker, a Georgian woman (played by the director's wife), and when she discovers the girl, her jealousy opens the way for accusations of pedophilia, as corruption, violence and suspicion quickly taint the fragile friendship. Tsintsadze (Gun Shy, Tribeca Film Festival 2004), a Georgian now living in Germany, tell this story of cultural miscommunication and misunderstood intentions with remarkable subtlety, creating a relationship that is deeply believable, sympathetic and filled with an uneasiness and volatility that echo post-Soviet Georgia's relationship with the West.
DITO TSINTSADZE'S film On the Verge (1993) was awarded a Silver Leopard at Locarno and the Golden Eagle at the International Black Sea Nations Film Festival in 1993. His other films include: White Night (short, 1984), The Drawn Circle (TV, 1988), Guests (short, 1990), Home (TV, 1992), the Cannes Un Certain Regard selection Lost Killers (2000), An Erotic Tale (short, 2002), and 2003's Gun-Shy (Schussangst), the winner of San Sebastian's Golden Shell.