Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Image of building in forest. Image links to event page.



Film Screening & Discussion. Magic Mountain
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Please join the Harriman Institute for a screening of Magic Mountain (Georgia/Poland, 2023). The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, Mariam Chachia and Nik Voigt. The event is part of the Contemporary Culture Series and is moderated by Mark Lipovetsky and Tatiana Efremova.

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 classic 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 admitted 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.