DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Brighton 4th

Director - Levan Koguashvili - 2021

"Filthy genius movie"
This poignant comedy on the Georgian immigrant experience in New York is a life-affirming experience - live from the Red Sea Film Festival, Saudi Arabia


New York is the setting for Levan Koguashivili’s Tribeca prize-winning film Brighton 4th, though at first we start in Georgia. Here we meet Kakhi (Levan Tediashivili), an ex-wrestler who spends his retirement helping out his deadbeat gambler brother, walking his dog and watching the young wrestlers train. Soon though he is off to New York to bail out his son, Soso (Giorgi Tabidze), who is struggling to get a Green Card and his head above the water of a gambling debt.

Boris Frumin’s screenplay weaves in a variety of characters from the immigrant community who have made their corner of New York, a hostel run by Kakhi’s sister-in-law, a little piece of Georgia. The arrival of some cheese from the homeland is celebrated, toasts are drunk and everyone works at cash-in-hand jobs despite their qualifications. Brighton 4th is a tale of immigrant improvisation rich in humour. Sergo is an opera singer working as a hotel doorman and Soso also is a doctor who has to move furniture because he’s not yet certified.

Himself a real life wrestler and non-professional actor, Tediashivili imbues his character with graceful ornery kindness. His power comes from the stillness of a man who is completely in control of himself and has never met a problem he can’t get in a clinch with and throw. This is in contrast to his son and brother and many who surround him. Kahki also has insight into the good in people and his trust has an almost magical effect on the people he meets. He tells Lena (Nadezhda Mikhalkova), a woman who is marrying Soso to get him a Green Card, that he sure she will quit smoking when she says she wants to: ‘I can see it in your eyes.’ Even a manager who appears to be exploiting his female workforce has a story and justification and is soon drinking and dancing with the household under Kahki’s influence.

Ultimately, however, this is a story about fatherhood and the unconditional love that comes with it. ‘I wrestled all my life,’ he tells his son. ‘You think I wouldn’t wrestle for you?’ There is a lot of humour. Koguashivili frames shots with beautiful unobtrusive jokes. A pertinent sign or a pig’s head in a butcher mirroring a character’s hangdog expression. As Kahki attempts to resolve Soso’s problems and pay off his debt he becomes embroiled in one scheme after another, but always leading to unexpected outcomes. Brighton 4th is a tragedy played as comedy, a brilliant and humane film full of poignancy and love. In the end there is a defiance in the face of all that can and will go wrong in life. Like Kahki the film trusts people to be good and gifted with that trust, we might just be better.

Brighton 4th just showed at The Red Sea International Film Festival which will run from 6-15 December, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

"Filthy genius movie"

By John Bleasdale - 08-12-2021

By John Bleasdale - 08-12-2021

John Bleasdale is a film critic and writer based in Italy. He has published a novel entitled Blood is on the Grass and a book of short stories as well as a number of articles and features. His work ha...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Another year has gone by, and DMovies is [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]

Read More

Live from Jeddah: Previewing the Red Sea International Film Festival


John Bleasdale - 05-12-2021

The very first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival starts on December 6th for 11 days, bringing a potent mix of Arab cinema as well as more familiar festival fare - John Bleasdale reports live from the event [Read More...]


Joe Wright

John Bleasdale - 07-12-2021

Joe Wright’s Cyrano has all the luxurious panache of a box of very expensive chocolates - on VoD on Friday, May 27th [Read More...]


Asif Kapadia

Chris Simpson - 06-02-2023

Choreographer Akram Khan's wild new creation is elegantly captured by one of Britain's most acclaimed documentarists - Asif Kapadia's new film is in cinemas on Friday, February 24th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *