Articles by Paul Rimple



Georgia: Catching a New Wave of Cinema

  • 15 January 15
  • EurasiaNet
Georgian cinema has the wind at its back once again after spending a lengthy period in the creative doldrums. With two films short-listed for an Oscar, one of which was up for a Golden Globe, Georgian directors have risen from the ashes of a collapsed film industry, showing that even with limited resources it is possible to make world-class films.

American Hamburgers and Changes in Georgia

I'm sitting at Tbilisi's first Wendy's and do not feel the slightest bit guilty. This is the second time I've had a burger here since the joint opened a few months ago and probably the fourth time in the past 25 years. I just don't do corporate fast food — or at least I didn't until I moved to Georgia.

Georgia Signs On to Europe

There should be no doubts about it. Georgia proved its commitment to a European trajectory when it initialed the Association Agreement, a comprehensive free-trade treaty with the European Union in Vilnius on Thursday.

Georgian Priests Should Remember Jesus' Words

The charitable State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, or SOCAR, has begun providing free gas to some 200 churches throughout Georgia at a value of about $600,000.

Saakashvili Era Is Over But Will Be Missed

Dear Misha, I am going to miss you. Don't get me wrong, I am glad your era is over. It is just hard to imagine Georgia without you.

Georgia After Saakashvili

Georgians will have to get used to the fact that the government is now going to move much more slowly than under Saakashvili. It's called democracy.

Georgian Boycott of Olympics Is a Bad Idea

Shortly after Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili appealed to the U.S. and European Union to punish Russia and boycott the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Soft Power On Abkhazia Will Not Work

In Georgia, it's called the fall of Sukhumi. In Abkhazia, it's called the liberation of Sukhum.

Georgians Face Apartheid in Abkhazia

On the Abkhaz side of the Inguri River, which separates Abkhazia from Georgia, there is a real border crossing now with razor wire and Russian soldiers with handheld metal detectors and Federal Security Service officers to interrogate the foreigners.

Georgia's Anti-Muslim Crusade Gains Force

Imagine a church has erected a 10-meter cross in a little Georgian village and a month later, police come to dismantle it and take it away, claiming it was erected illegally.

Georgia's Melting Pot Tested by Xenophobia

Tbilisi is perhaps most renowned for its melting-pot legacy, where in a few short blocks in the Old Town you will see an Armenian Apostolic Church, Georgian Orthodox Church, mosque and synagogue.

A Giant Fence Between Georgians and Ossetians

Five years ago, I watched Russian jets blast Georgian villages and hundreds of people flee their homes with what they could carry in their hands during the brief but devastating Russian-Georgian war.

Saakashvili's About-Face In Lobbying Washington

Chalk one up for President Mikheil Saakashviliэs PR machine, whose lobbyists have managed to convince U.S. Representative Michael Turner that Georgia is a tyrannical, abusive and violent nation, unworthy of U.S. support.

Swindling Homebuyers in Georgia

Georgia's latest high-profile indictments are of former vice speaker of parliament, Rusudan Kervalishvili; her sister, Maia Rcheulishvili; and their associate, Ivane Tsaguria, who have been accused of fraud and embezzlement of $6.7 million.

Why Europe's Standards Don't Apply to Georgia

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said he was worried about Georgia because he believed the parliamentary minority "is being threatened publicly with the use of prosecution services."

How Saakashvili Failed In a War Against Drugs

Guys used to park at the end of our street to shoot up. They littered the ground with their used needles until one day they disappeared, imprisoned for drug use.

Why Georgians Are Now Talking of Homophobia

Beso stopped by the house last week. His dark eyes looked heavier than usual. "I'm so ashamed to be Georgian. If I could, I would leave this country and never come back."

Georgia's Homophobic Church

"Why is everybody so aggressive?" I asked two priests standing at a bus stop as thousands of people ran by me in pursuit of gay activists. "Is this Christian behavior? Is this what Jesus would do?"

Tbilisi May Get Burned By CIA Murder Inquiry

Georgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani wants to reinvestigate the unsolved murder case of a CIA operative who was shot in the head 20 years ago in the outskirts of Tbilisi.

Saakashvili Gives Birth To a Real Opposition

About 10,000 people gathered Friday in front of Tbilisi's parliament building to hear President Mikheil Saakashvili and members of his United National Movement party, or UNM, bash Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

A Good Georgian Gamble

What started as crusade to outlaw gambling advertisements has morphed into a push to prohibit casinos in Georgia. Lawmakers say they want to protect youth from the iniquitous vice of gambling, but they're betting on the wrong horse.

Why I'd Take Tbilisi Over Rome or Zurich

When CNN published a travel story earlier this month showing Tbilisi's ranking as one of the worst cities in the world, it sent locals in a tizzy. Georgians think Tbilisi is the bellybutton of the universe. It might be crazy, but that's part of its charm. Calling it inferior reflects a second-rate way of seeing the world.

The Georgian Art of Drinking and Toasting

David Manjiashvili slipped on his high-tops early one morning, intent on finally getting his father off his back by going for what would be the first of a program of jogs to reduce his expansive stomach.

My Own Dance With Awkwardness in a Cab

Merab steered his taxi into incoming traffic to make a brazen U-turn and said the marshrutka strike, which had wreaked havoc on Tbilisi's public transportation system for more than a week, had not improved his business.

Georgia Dream Makes Power Sharing Difficult

When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat in October's parliamentary elections, it was supposed to usher in a new era in the country's democratic development.

Protesters Beating a Dead Horse in Georgian Streets

Thousands of people did not gather in front of the Presidential Palace in Tbilisi a week ago to demand Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's resignation, as some loose-cannon media sources reported.

Conquering the World With Wine and Food

In August 2008, I was sitting on a curb in the Georgian village of Akhalgori with journalist Wendell Steavenson watching Ossetian troops loot stores and homes. "This whole thing is crazy," she said. "All Georgia had to do was invite Russia to the dinner table. They would have conquered it with food and wine."

Georgian Chauvinism Raises Its Head Again

Relations between Georgian Muslims and Christians have been heating up in the village of Tsintskharo in the southeastern region of Kvemo Kartli. Lawmaker Viktor Japaridze said that if the controversy is not resolved soon, there could be bloodshed.

Georgia Isn't on the MAP For NATO Membership

It should come as no surprise that Georgia did not make it to ­NATO's Membership Action Plan, or MAP, this year. President Mikheil Saakashvili has put the blame on Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili — a convenient excuse if it were true.

How Saakashvili Tries to Avenge Ivanishvili

After Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat the day after his party lost in the Oct. 1 parliamentary elections, he said he would work together with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili for the sake of Georgian democracy. Everybody in Georgia knew that was bunk.