Letters to Max
What is the job of a diplomat for a country that does not exist? With this question, acclaimed filmmaker Eric Baudelaire initiates a wide-ranging correspondence with his friend Maxim Gvinjia, former Minister of Foreign Affairs for Abkhazia, a country with physical borders, a government and its own flag, but has not been recognized as a nation. A small state by the Black Sea, Abkhazia is an independent country depending on who you ask. It seceded from Georgia after the 1992-1993 civil war (which saw Russian troops assisting its efforts, much like they did in South Ossetia, and more recently in the Crimea). But it was never recognized by the United Nations or by most of the world's countries. Only Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru have done so. In LETTERS TO MAX, Eric Baudelaire, director of THE MAKES and THE ANABASIS, sets in motion a fascinating discussion with Max through a series of short letters. Each letter poses a question (about Max's political career, about his country, about the war, about life after the war) which Max answers on the film's soundtrack, illustrated by beautiful and impressionistic images of the place itself. It is a remarkably forthright, poetic and insightful conversation about an isolated conflict that has come to be viewed less of an anomaly and more of a precursor in this post-cold war landscape, particularly in Ukraine.