Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Image from Magic Mountain. Image links to event page.



Film Screening & Discussion. Magic Mountain

Please join the Museum of the Moving Image and the Harriman Institute for a screening of Magic Mountain (Georgia/Poland, 2023), followed by a discussion with filmmakers Mariam Chachia and Nik Voigt.

In the spectacular mountains of southwest Georgia sits the Abastumani sanatorium, a treatment hospital for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis. As in Thomas Mann’s influential novel, the central character in Magic Mountain is the sanitorium,which becomes a site of fantasies and nightmares, a home of the living and the dead, inhabited at different times by the rich and those with nowhere else to go. With a precise approach to image and sound, the film documents the lives of patients, nurses, and doctors in the now dilapidated, once majestic building, and the unlikely home they’ve made for themselves within the treatment regimen their condition requires. Georgian filmmaker Mariam Chachia’s epistolary voiceover is a love letter that also exorcises Abastumani from her psyche—she was almost committed there when she was diagnosed with TB—and a reflection on the place of the sanatorium within Georgian society. Docs Award for Best Film, 2023 DocsBarcelona. Presented as part of Science on Screen.

In Georgian and Russian with English subtitles.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.

Use code harriman10 at checkout for a discount on this event or on an All Festival Pass.

Mariam Chachia is a documentary film director and producer from Georgia. She is the founder of film production company OpyoDoc and co-founder of DOCA Documentary Association Georgia. Mariam’s love affair with film began in 2007 when she started making short TV series for kids titled Rubber, which aired on Rustavi2, one of Georgia’s biggest TV broadcasters. Besides short TV series, Mariam has directed several educational videos and animations. Her first feature documentary, Listen to the Silence, premiered at DOK Leipzig 2016 and won the Golden Dove in the Next Masters Competition.

Nik Voigt began his career as a documentary photographer, spending many years mastering the art of weaving together characters, events, locations, and subjects into works of beauty that were greater than the sum of their parts. Driven by his passion for visual storytelling, Nik decided to venture into producing documentary films. Over the years, Nik has worn many hats, working as a cinematographer, director, and editor across a range of film and media fields before finally finding his calling in documentary filmmaking in 2016. Since then, he has amassed an impressive portfolio of 9 DoP credits on documentary feature films, which have been shown on Arte and screened at numerous European festivals.