B. Michael Krol shares his thoughts on OUR BLOOD IS WINE
A few months back, a good friend came to visit me in Northern California. We did what Northern Californians usually do when friends visit from out of town: we went wine tasting.
Wine tasting, for those of you who’ve never been, is when you go to a vineyard and sample wines in small amounts, usually not enough to get someone drunk or have too much of one kind. The idea is to give the consumer a small taste of a wide variety of wines, in the hopes that they’ll buy one or three. Watching Our Blood is Wine reminded me a lot of that experience.
Emily Railsback’s Our Blood is Wine explores the Georgian wine making traditions through the eyes of sommelier, Jeremy Quinn. Together, Quinn and Railsback journeyed through the Georgian countryside and documented how local vintners are slowly bringing back old winemaking traditions after several decades of Soviet occupation. During the film, we meet several interesting people and get a sample of how each of them fits into the Georgian winemaking.
But that’s the main problem of Our Blood is Wine. As it stands, it’s a fascinating nugget of a documentary that clearly cares about its subject, which made me as a viewer care. But I wanted more. I wanted to spend more time with the people (especially Giorgi Natenadze, a fascinating young man who’s documenting all the grape varieties in Georgia), but since Our Blood is Wine is a lean 86 minutes, I never got the chance.
Of all a documentary’s possible flaws, the viewer wanting to spend more time with the subject and learn more about it isn’t a bad flaw to have. But one flaw that Our Blood is Wine has, that I wish it didn’t, is a lack of context. Besides a perfunctory line in the beginning about Quinn’s desire to learn all there is about wine and winemaking, I never understood why Railsback and Quinn decided on Georgia wines and winemakers. They never made it clear why Georgian wines and winemaking traditions are important to the larger world of wine, beyond the fact that Georgian wines are crafted by some interesting people.
Despite those two flaws, I’d recommend Our Blood is Wine. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a precocious cab I need to get back to…
- Not Rated
- 1 hr and 18 mins
- Music Box Films
RELEASE DATE: 3/16/18
- Film Score - 90%90%
The Plot Thus Far
Filmmaker Emily Railsback and award-winning sommelier Jeremy Quinn provide intimate access to rural family life in the Republic of Georgia as they explore the rebirth of 8,000-year-old winemaking traditions almost lost during the period of Soviet rule. By using unobtrusive iPhone technology, Railsback brings the voices and ancestral legacies of modern Georgians directly to the viewer, revealing an intricate and resilient society that has survived regular foreign invasion and repeated attempts to erase Georgian culture. The revival of traditional winemaking is the central force driving this powerful, independent and autonomous nation to find its 21st century identity.