Scroll To Top
World

Gay Film Draws Violent Protest in Republic of Georgia

Georgian police

Hundreds protested the opening of And Then We Danced, with some throwing rocks, smoke bombs, or firecrackers.

trudestress

Anti-LGBTQ demonstrators rallied Friday in Tbilisi, capital of the nation of Georgia, to protest the opening of a gay-themed movie.

Hundreds of people, some holding crosses or other religious icons, blocked a road leading to the theater showing And Then We Danced, a film about a love affair between two young male Georgian ballet dancers, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. Some burned a Pride flag, while others threw smoke bombs and firecrackers in the direction of the theater or tried to force their way in. Riot police stopped them from entering the venue.

"This is not just a movie. This is an insult to our faith, our traditions, and all that is holy for us," Guram Damenia, a protester wearing a traditional Georgian costume, told Thomson Reuters.

And Then We Danced premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and was well-received there and at other festivals. But Georgia's Orthodox Church and other homophobic forces in the conservative nation, a former Soviet republic, have condemned it and said it promotes sin.

Police arrested 12 demonstrators. One of them had thrown a stone that hit a young woman who was trying to see the movie; she was taken from the scene by ambulance. The other arrestees had sought to force their way into the theater.

"I don't think it is normal to have so many policemen here to save me and my friends from people who think that I should not watch a movie," filmgoer Tina Iukhutashvili told Thomson Reuters. "I should not be scared to go to see a movie."

The film's director, Levan Akin, denounced the violence in a social media post. "It is absurd that people who bought tickets need to be brave and risk getting harassed or even assaulted just for going to see a film," said Akin, who was born in Sweden but is of Georgian descent.

Georgia's Interior Ministry urged everyone to follow the law and avoid conflict, and said the protests did not lead to cancellation of the screenings. "All movie shows scheduled for today in Tbilisi have started and are under way," said a statement issued by the ministry.

trudestress
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.