Patients undergoing MRI scans are often given and injection of Gadolinium.
The Gadolinium helps to create a greater visual contrast between normal and abnormal tissues in the images produced by the scan.
A filmmaker never chooses a story completely by chance.
Many people have probably lived this kind of disturbing moment where we’re confronted with an invisible enemy inside our bodies. Suddenly our future seems to depend on a cloudy little white splotch in the middle of a gray zone of an MRI scan. When the time comes to try and decipher the mysterious images an age-old fear wakes up and its exuberance and predictability make the situation almost comical.
A few months before shooting this film I found myself in the same situation as Levan, the film’s protagonist. Fascinated, I observed the interior of my body on the hospital computer screen while the doctor used his doctor-speak language to explain what the problem was. His foreign words were frightening and set my imagination wild. I felt myself being transformed into a scientific object without holding the keys to understand the importance of what I was seeing or hearing.
In this state of mind, I wanted to film this tragicomic moment of sudden metamorphosis, when the anguish grows to gigantic proportions, taking over our entourage as well.
I learned how the element Gadolinium is used to provide the contrast in the MRI images – these same images that represent such hope or despair for us as patients. I then set out to find a character about to have an IRM scan, hoping his reactions would be similar to my own. And I found Levan. And the whole time I was filming I kept thinking that Levan could be me, that he could also be you, or someone we know.
Nino Kirtadze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her films have won international acclaim and numerous prestigious awards at festivals worldwide, including World Cinema Best Director Prize at Sundance for her "Durakovo-village of fools" (2008) and European Film Academy Best documentary Prize for "Pipeline next door" (2005), also awarded by the Grand Jury Prize and the John Templeton Award at Visions du REEL, Switzerland. Other highlights include Germany's top documentary award, the Adolf Grimme Golden Prize, for "Chechen Lullaby" (2002) and the Golden Fipa, France's top creative documentary award and the Cinema du Reel Louis Marcorelles Prize for "Tell my friends that I'm dead"(2004). Her film "Something about Georgia" won the Idee Suisse TSR Prize at Visions du Reel 2010.
Nino is member of the French writers' and directors' society La SCAM and a member of the European film Academy. She collaborates on a regular basis with different national and international organizations as a consultant, jury, lecturer, and tutor.