Kumu Auditorium presents: cinema concert Cleaning Women “My Grandmother” 24/05/2024

Kumu Art Museum

Kumu Auditorium


Tickets from Art Museum of Estonia e-shop, Fienta and Piletilevi (terms and conditions Fienta ja Piletilevi).

Kaader filmist "Minu vanaema". Foto: Perttu Saksa

Kumu Auditorium presents: cinema concert Cleaning Women “My Grandmother”

Cleaning Women (Finland):
CW04 (Tero Vänttinen)
CW03 (Timo Kinnunen)
CW01 (Risto Puurunen)

„My Grandmother“ („Chemi bebia“)
Dir Kote Mikaberidze
Georgia 1929, 61 min

The cinema concert taking place in the Kumu auditorium on 24 May will combine a classic masterpiece of silent film with a contemporary music experience: the film My Grandmother by Kote Mikaberidze will be shown on the big screen, and the Finnish experimental music collective Cleaning Women will provide an avant-garde soundtrack.

The grotesquely witty silent film My Grandmother (Chemi bebia, 1929, 61 min) by the legendary Georgian actor and animator Kote Mikaberidze (1896–1973) will be screened. The film has traces of French avant-garde cinema, with its use of a stopped camera, elements of puppetry and animation, as well as the expressionistic design and camera angles of the period. With its anti-Soviet plot and innovative use of form, the film was banned for decades. Thanks to an excellent restoration and digitisation, the film has been brought back to life. The film’s criticism of endless bureaucracy still has strong relevance today.

The cinema concert My Grandmother has been performed by a wide variety of musical groups from all over the world, from the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra to the Beth Custer Ensemble at MoMa in New York, and most recently by the Finnish group Cleaning Women at the Telluride Film Festival in America and at the Tromsø International Film Festival in Norway.

What makes Cleaning Women truly special is their musical sound. Known for their home-made instruments constructed out of household items and recycled materials, they offer a spectacle along with a witty multimedia show. Although the starting point is avant-garde and experimental, the end result is a fabulous mix of skilled musicianship, original soundscapes and easy-to-grasp, even danceable music: a combination of cinematic science fiction, western and sparkling trash can disco that offers an unforgettable experience on stage, both musically and visually.

The Helsinki-based experimental group Cleaning Women has given over 600 concerts in its more than 25 years of existence, and has performed at several international film and music festivals around the world. Among other things, they have created original soundtracks for classic silent films (Aelita: Queen of Mars, 1929, directed by Yakov Protazanov; Enthusiasm, 1930 and The Eleventh Year, 1928, directed by Dziga Vertov; Battleship Potemkin, 1925, directed by Sergei Eisenstein; Metropolis, 1927, directed by Fritz Lang; and Georges Méliès’s science fiction film Voyage to the Moon, 1902), and wrote and performed an original score for the director Alice Rohrwacher’s 2022 contemporary short film Le pupille (The Pupils), nominated for an Academy Award in 2023.

The Cleaning Women previously performed at the Kumu Auditorium in 2013, when they presented two original soundtracks for cinema: Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924) and an American short film session with Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin.

For more information on Cleaning Women, see http://www.cleaningwomen.com

The film was restored by the Georgian National Film Center.