MAGDANA’S DONKEY Screenplay by
K. GOGODZE Directed by
T. ABULADZE, R. CHKHEIDZE Cinematography by
L. SUKHOV, A. DIGMELOV Production Designer
I. SUMBATASHVILI Music by
A. KERESELIDZE English Subtitles by
T. KAMENEVA Starring Magdana – D. TSERODZE Mitua, a collier –
A. KVANTALIANI Mikho – M. BORASHVILI Sofo – L. MOISTSRAPISHVILI Kato – N. CHIKVINIDZE Vano, the collier’s labourer –
K. SAKANDELIDZE Village headman – A. VASADZE Grandfather Gigo – A. OMIADZE Judge – A. TAKAISHVILI Wait.
Don’t twitch. Mikho, I’ve nearly
pulled it out. You know how much it hurts?
Do it quickly! Mommy is coming! Mommy! You hear? Mommy’s coming!
I must meet her! Wait, wait… I’ve got it! Kato, it must be not mom. What’s the matter with you there? Kato, are you all right? There’s no mommy! Stop crying. Mom will come soon. Kato, look who’s coming! Mommy. Mommy! Sonny, why are you limping? A thorn stuck into my foot.
It doesn’t hurt anymore. It’ll heal soon. My darling kids. Here, Kato.
Why were you crying? Did you hurt her? No, I didn’t, honest. The bread’s so yummy! Why are you so late today? Well, daughter. There’ve been no buyers.
And it was so hot to walk. I missed you so much! – Give it to me.
– Wait. Here. Sofo, daughter. This is the money I got for yogurt. Take the empty pots to the landlord. Have you left
any yogurt on credit? No, daughter, I haven’t. Mikho, fetch some water. Kato, you come and help, too. Aunt Melano was asking if
you could sell her yogurt too. Want me to go to her? Sofo, my child, ask Magdana if she can sell
my two pots of yogurt too? No, how can my mother
carry so much? I’ve already got 20 pots. Poor Magdana! How she slaves for her orphans! Yogurt! Yogurt!
Good fresh yogurt! Hey, Vano! Vano! Coming, uncle Mitua! Where are you, you scoundrel and rogue?
Didn’t you hear me calling you, dog? A drink of ice-cold water to me
Is sweeter than a girl in love with me. Where have you been, you good-for-
nothing? Come on. Where, where…
The spring is pretty far. Ajug of water, a jug of water
Is sweeter than anyone’s daughter. Here, take it, you sickly one. May he who sold you
burn in hell! Damned donkey! May he be struck dumb! He fell again, didn’t he,
that cursed donkey? – He did, poor animal.
– God damn him! Let me see. May he burn in hell
who sold you to me! – He doesn’t even breathe.
– Get him up by his tail. It’s all your fault, you fool.
Throw that carrion into the ravine. – What if he comes back to life?
– He won’t. Now carry these sacks yourself.
You damned loafer! Give me the jug. It’s your fault.
Take the sacks, move it. Mikho! What is it now? Come here! Come here! Hurry! Quiet, Mikho. Can you see it?
What is it there, Mikho? Kato, he doesn’t move.
Let’s go. What if it’s a wolf? Don’t be afraid, it’s not a wolf. Come on. I’m scared. It’s a wolf. I’m scared! Don’t be scared. Let’s go. I don’t want to! No! Don’t be afraid, it’s not a wolf. Look, it’s just a donkey! Why, it’s a little donkey! It’s true! A donkey! True! Is he dead? No, he can’t be. He’s breathing. Wait. Sofo, Shiko, Vano!
Everybody come here! Magdana is here.
Come, sit down next to me. Yogurt! You’ve still got several
pots left, Magdana? There’re two pots left. I couldn’t sell them,
though I walked around the city. What can we do? I haven’t
sold a single pot today. Yogurt! Very good yogurt!
Buy some yogurt, ma’am. Yogurt, ma’am. She didn’t even look at it,
may her eyes burst. What can we do?
This is our lot. Show me your yogurt. Buy it from this woman.
You won’t find a better one. Give it here. It’s good. Take both pots. I got to go back
home, my orphans are waiting. All right, only stop whimpering. Let it be two.
Here, twenty kopecks. – Take them to my mother.
– Your mother? Go this way and turn left. Ask for grandma Ketevan.
Go, don’t forget. You fell down!
Did you hurt yourself, poor thing? What do I do now?
There’s no yogurt. Calm down, dear, it’s all right. But the money’s been paid for it. Here, it’s not your fault.
That’s my unhappy lot. I feel sorry for you,
but I’m not rich either. Now I have to clean all that. Why do you blame me? Couldn’t you fall
at some other place? I wish I fell
and never got up again. Then I would have rested
and been saved from all that torture. Thank you. How are the children doing there? Aunt Magdana, look
at the donkey we’ve got! Mommy, look what we got!
We found him, Kato and me did. Isn’t he pretty! Our donkey is better
than uncle Niniko’s. He’s so heavy! We’ve hardly managed to lug him here! I carried the donkey too. And me too! Quiet, children. Stop shouting. Sofo, tell me whose donkey this is.
Where did you get him? Mikho spotted him,
he was lying on the road. What do you need him for?
You should throw him away. No, Mom!
We should keep him. – We’ll nurse him back to health.
– I’ll bring grass for him. We got a home for him. Magdana, daughter. Let the donkey stay with you.
Don’t disappoint the kids. Perhaps he’ll survive. Right, maybe this donkey
will be your help. Give me some warm water. Mikho, help me. Grandfather, be so kind,
ask the headman to come here. He’s the tsar’s man,
he’s supposed to know everything. Mommy, will the donkey get well? Grandma, buy me a donkey too! All right, son, I will. Let’s pick some grass for the donkey
in the princess’s garden. Hurry up, guys.
He’s asleep. He woke up. Look, the headman! What’s up? Why such a crowd here? Who brought that filth here? Mister headman,
maybe the donkey will get well. What?
Get well? It would be too good
if the dead could come back to life. Listen to me, dear, throw that
carrion into the ravine now! He’ll get well! Mister headman,
I’d rather keep him. Please report it to the right people. Eat some grass, it’s good,
it’s from the princess’s garden. It’s a very good grass. Look, he opened his eyes! He’s got blue eyes! Mommy, let’s name him Lurdja. All right. Listen carefully now, you should
know that starting from today your name is Lurdja. Don’t forget it – Lurdja. Here’s some grass, eat it. Look, our Lurdja is eating! Oh, children, children! How much joy do they get
from that donkey! He was just a bag of bones,
but look at him now! He’s become a fine donkey! The kids have spent so much
energy taking care of him. But now, dear Magdana,
you’ll have it much easier. You’ll load Lurdja up with your yogurt, and he’ll carry it to the market,
and you’ll be able to rest. You’re right. Perhaps my back will have
some rest, too. As they say, an orphan’s cake
takes a long time to bake, but it gets baked anyway. Your children’s day will come, too. Will you come back
from town soon today? I’ll get to town sooner today
and be back by noon. – Really? So early, Mommy?
– Yes, daughter. Mikho, will Mommy be able
to sell all her yogurt by noon? Of course she will, because
Lurdja’s going with her. Our Lurdja is going with Mom! Go back home, you’ll get tired. No, we won’t.
Can we walk a little more? I don’t want to part with Lurdja. We’ll go as far as the spring,
and then we’ll turn back. All right, let’s go. Mommy, our Lurdja was lying
right here. His legs were turned this way,
and his arms that way. He bared his teeth,
and his tongue was out like this. Lurdja didn’t even move.
Our dear donkey was lying quietly. You said it was a wolf. You got scared at first too,
didn’t you? – Yesterday he got scared of a calf.
– What calf? – I wasn’t scared.
– You coward! – You liar!
– You coward! If you say so…
Here, get it! Mikho, stop it. It’s not true!
I’m scared of nothing! You’ll get it now! Stop crying, Kato, you have no one
to blame. Why are you teasing him? Don’t cry,
or I won’t buy you slippers. Mommy, please buy me slippers! All right, I will, daughter. Mikho, what are you doing there, son? Lurdja will get hungry in the city,
and you give him this. My darling Lurdja. Go back home. I’ll bring you sweet
bread from town. Sofo, look after them.
And you don’t fight. I got to go. Mommy! Mommy, while you’re in town, I’ll pick so much grass for Lurdja
that he’ll get drowned in it. Come back soon! You hear, Mom? Don’t forget to buy me
the slippers, Mommy! Yogurt! Yogurt!
Delicious yogurt! Yogurt! Hey, make way! Make way! Come here, please, sister! Do you like them? Is this leather durable? This one? lt’ll never wear out! For whom are you buying them?
What age? – For my daughter. She’s 5.
– That’s exactly what you need. May she grow up happy
and wear a thousand of such slippers. – Show me these.
– These? Right. They’re fitting for a tsarevna. These are better. That’s right, these are better. You
can’t get such goods anywhere else. 50 kopecks, I won’t sell them for less. I’ll come for them later.
Don’t sell them to anyone. Oh, woe is me! Vano, dear, help me. Get up. What’s going on?! – What have you done?
– Don’t you see where you’re going? She has only herself to blame,
putting her donkey in everyone’s way. – Is the road too narrow for you?
– Couldn’t you go round? Lay off me! Where are you going?
Why don’t you answer? What do you want from me?
Lay off! Detain him. Wait, you won’t get away.
You have to pay her. – Compensate for her loss.
– Pay her. You’ve brought me to ruin! May you never have happiness
for having caused woe to my children! – She’s a poor woman.
– Don’t even think of running away. To hell with all of you! How many kopecks is your loss worth? For how much are you
going to fleece me? How do I know? I don’t know for how many
rubles you’ve ruined me. Wait. Hold the donkey. What are you staring at? He’s never seen a donkey before. I wonder what he’s looking at. Tell me where you got this donkey? Where did I get him? What business is that of yours? It’s exactly my business. It’s my donkey. You stole him, and now you say
what business is that of mine? Hey, people! This woman stole my donkey!
She’s a thief! You’re lying! I picked him up on the road! He was dying, and we nursed him
back to health. He’s our donkey now. She found a dying donkey! Who asked you to nurse him? That’s not what
I left him on the road for. You’re a thief! Take your pack off,
or I’ll break all your pots! You have no right to take him!
It was I who nursed him! Some warrior!
Harassing a poor widow! Get out of here! Police!
Let’s go! Help! – Where’s she?
– I’m here. She stole my donkey. Tell him to leave me alone.
He wants to take my donkey. He says you stole him. I swear by my children,
I picked him up on the road. She’s lying. Lurdja? Lurdja? How deftly she drove the donkey away. She’s a real thief. Lurdja! Mikho, stop fighting! You’ve turned the entire house
upside down! Shut up! Give it back now!
Give it back! Kato, I made it! Give it back! No, I won’t. Mommy is back!
Mommy, Mikho beats me. Kato, daughter. I’m going to get the slippers. Oh, you’ve got all wet! Mommy, the pot is broken! And another one. Mommy, what happened? Where’s Lurdja? – Isn’t he in the shed?
– No. I’ll go and look. Where’s Lurdja? What happened, Mom? Where’s he? Mommy, where’s Lurdja? Sofo, daughter. Give me some water. Mommy, tell please,
where’s Lurdja? Tell us, where’s Lurdja? My dears, Lurdja… Lurdja! The judge… Sofo. – My girl.
– What, Mom? I didn’t want
to tell you about it… They’ll take Lurdja away tomorrow. His owner showed up, and he went to the court. Sofo. What’s the matter, girl? Sit down. You’re grownup already. Do you understand?
Listen to me. We’re not going to tell Mikho about it. You’ll take him away tomorrow. Let him stay with
Grandfather Gigo. I don’t want him to see that. The poor boy loves Lurdja
more than anyone else. It was him who had nursed up
the donkey. You weren’t sleeping, were you? You’ve heard everything? Don’t cry, sonny. I’ll sit on Lurdja and never get off! Unless they kill me! Lurdja is ours!
I’ll never give him away! All right, my child. Let’s hide him
at Grandfather Gigo’s. All right, son. All right. Go to sleep now.
You must sleep. Why are you standing, Lurdja? What do I do with you? Go! Go! Move your feet,
or I’ll get angry! Come on, go!
Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? All right, stand, if you don’t want
to listen to me. I’ll go alone to Grandfather,
and you’ll be taken by strangers. You’ll see. You’ll see! You’re really
just a stubborn donkey! Mikho! Where are you, Mikho? Mikho, sonny! Thank God I’ve found you.
How you’ve scared me! They won’t take him from us. Oh, you’re all wet!
Let’s go home now. We must take Lurdja to Grandfather. No one will take Lurdja from us.
Don’t be afraid. Magdana Sesiashvili! Magdana Sesiashvili! It’s me. Why didn’t you appear in the court? I got orders to fine you. You’re to come with us,
and take the donkey with you. Don’t take the donkey from us.
Don’t take a sin upon your soul. Enough!
Bring the donkey out. No! As long as I’m alive,
I won’t give him away! It was God’s gift to my little kids!
You have no right to take him away! Hey, get up. – Mommy!
– Sonny! Mikho! Sonny! – It’s all right, Mommy.
– My darling. Is there no justice in the world?
Will nobody really help me? Where are you taking him? Don’t touch him.
I’ll take him myself. Mommy, take me along. All right, get dressed. Hurry up. Sofo, look after the house. Mikho, calm down, son. Get away. Let’s go. Lurdja! Mikho! Grandfather Gigo! Help! Uncle Simon! They took our Lurdja away!
They took Lurdja! Before the court is the case of the merchant Mitua Lapiashvili suing
the widow Sesiashvili for appropriating
his property. Is Lapiashvili present? I’m here, sir. Are the defendant and
witnesses present? Defendant Magdana Sesiashvili. Where are your witnesses?
No witnesses? Why no witnesses?
All our village are my witnesses. I can’t see your witnesses. Witness Tedo Gunashvili. The headman.
Leave the court. Witness Tedo Gunashvili. Kiss the cross. Witness… Tedo Gunashvili. The court wishes to hear
what you know about the donkey that
the defendant widow Sesiashvili has appropriated. Well… But I…
I, you know… As a matter of fact… I mean the widow Sesiashvili…
That donkey… Mommy, Grandfather Gigo has come. Look, our headman is here. Mister Tedo is the honour and
conscience of our village. One such witness is
enough for the poor widow. Quiet!
Who are you? We’re fellow-villagers of this
poor widow, Your Honour. Who summoned you? No one.
We’ve come ourselves. Quiet! Or I’ll order to lead you out. Witness Gunashvili, what do you know? Well… I know about
the donkey that… Come on, tell what made you
bite your tongue, headman. Wasn’t it you who was mocking
at that hapless woman? Wasn’t it you who said
that no one can revive the donkey? Wasn’t it you who told
to throw him into the ravine, eh? Headman, you know that Magdana didn’t steal the donkey, that he was lying on the road dying! You saw it with your own eyes. You know how
she was nursing that donkey. She’d nursed him back to life! Why are you goggling at me? It’s not me, it’s the people talking. Now you speak up. Well, Your Honour, what can I say? Everybody knows
that my donkey was healthy! Sure, healthy! What are you saying? So you claim
that it was… a healthy donkey? Yes, very healthy. A fast-legged donkey. Write it down in the records. Go on. But what happened next? He was not fed, not watered,
was exhausted by work and beaten. He just fell and turned up his toes. Uncle Mitua told me
to throw him away. So I did. Who can count all the donkeys
that died on our road? – What nonsense are you talking?
– Why nonsense? To pronounce judgment,
the court withdraws for consultation. On December 23, 1896, in the name of
His lmperial Majesty, the Emperor,
the court decided… What can we do, Magdana… Don’t be afraid, daughter. Don’t lose heart.
We’re with you. The End