Whanganui Film Society's Monday screening is Tangerines, a 2013 Estonian-Georgian film directed, produced and written by Zaza Urushadze.

Lembit Ulfsak plays Ivo, living in Abkhazia at the outbreak of war who stays behind to harvest tangerines and cares for a wounded fighter.

"Familiarity breeds anything but contempt in Tangerines, a modestly magnificent fable of enemies in a time of war," wrote Wall Street Journal reviewer Joe Morgenstern.

"The time is 1992 in Abkhazia, a contested region of the former Soviet Union on the east coast of the Black Sea.


"There, a vicious little war rages between Georgian soldiers and Abkhaz separatists, but the only enemies who figure significantly in the story are two survivors of a firefight that breaks out near the home of an ageing carpenter named Ivo.

"One of the men is wounded grievously, the other less so.

"Both are forced to live under the same roof after Ivo takes them in and starts tending to their wounds.

"Ivo is the film's central figure, an Estonian whose wisdom and compassion - and withering scorn for the lunacy of war - emerge slowly from his taciturn manner and quiet demeanour.

"He's a marvellous character, and Mr Ulfsak is nothing short of masterly in the role.

"Most of the region's ethnic Estonians have returned to their homeland, but Ivo has stayed to help his friend Margus (Elmo Nüganen) pick one last crop of tangerines from the latter's orchard before the combat engulfs them.

"Now he must play peacemaker to two fighters who are not, to put it mildly, disposed to pacifism: Niko (Mikhail Meskhi), the young Georgian, who may not pull through, and the Chechen mercenary Ahmed (Giorgi Nakhashidze), who vows to kill his enemy when and if Niko gets well again.

"The situation has its heartening side, as you might guess, but the outcome is more complex, and stirring, than you might imagine."

Film Society half-year memberships are available to buy online at whanganuifilmsociety.org.nz at $45 or $40 discounted (for students, GoldCard holders and Community Service Card holders). Memberships can also be bought before screenings.

Tangerines screens at the Davis Theatre, Whanganui Regional Museum, Watt St, on Monday, September 25 at 7pm.