Bitcoin mining in rural Kakheti, Georgia, is juxtaposed against the region’s unpaved roads and horse-drawn carriages in this Official Selection at IFF Rotterdam.

A country that not long ago suffered daily power outages is now engaged in a highly technological form of capitalism.

Set in the rural region of Kakheti, Georgia, this rigorous documentary, avoiding verbal commentary and even music, silently paints a picture of the bitcoin mining process, juxtaposed against a backdrop of unpaved roads and horse-drawn carriages.

  • What does it mean to re-craft an ethnic and national identity on a global stage after decades of enforced distance from everyone else?
  • How can you do that at all when those decades deprived you of access to the resources you need to catch up to your international neighbors?
  • And ultimately, how will the sacrifices you will need to make in order to make that happen measure up against the cost of not doing so?

These are the questions posed by The Harvest, a new documentary that examines the strange juxtaposition of modernity and archaic-ness in the country of Georgia, which intersect at its cryptocurrency mining prowess. The country is currently the second most prolific center of BitCoin mining. The mechanics of that are complicated, involving ledger-keeping on the BlockChain and diminishing BitCoin rewards for that work resulting in an increased value of each coin, but that isn’t what this film is about…

Instead, this film focuses on the real-world incongruity of being a world leader in a digital industry when many Georgians still travel with pack animals. It’s a story about a few people trying to make the best out of an economic system that’s set against them, and the cultural dissonance that this creates in a country distinguished more by ancient traditions than modern socioeconomic innovation, and whose identity on a modern, mostly-capitalist global stage is still being formed.

2019 / 70 Minutes / Color / Non-verbal / HD 16×9 / A film by Misho Antadze


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Watch the trailer