Robinsonada or My English Grandfather

Robinsonada or My English Grandfather (Georgian: რობინზონიადა ანუ ჩემი ინგლისელი პაპა; Russian: Робинзонада, или Мой английский дедушка, romanizedRobinzonada ili moy angliskiy dedushka; also known as Robinson Crusoe in Georgia) is a 1987 Georgian comedy film directed by Nana Djordjadze. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Caméra d'Or.[1][2]

Robinsonada or My English Grandfather
Robinsonada or My English Grandfather.jpg
Film poster
Directed byNana Djordjadze
Written byIrakli Kvirikadze
StarringJanri Lolashvili
CinematographyLevan Paatashvili
Release date
  • 1987 (1987)
Running time
76 minutes
CountrySoviet Union (Georgia)


The main story of the film is framed as the reminiscences of an aged Georgian woman recalling her love affair, many years earlier, with an English telegraph worker. Shortly before the Soviet take-over of Georgia in 1921, Christopher Hughes is sent to rural Georgia to work on a telegraph line between the UK and India, which runs through Georgian territory. (This plot element is based on the true story of the Indo-European Telegraph Line, built by Siemens in 1868-1870, and operational until 1931).[3] After the Red Army invades Georgia, the British employees are recalled, but the message ordering him to leave Georgia never reaches Hughes, who has fallen in love with Ana, a young Georgian woman living in a nearby village. Ana’s brother Nestor, however, is a local Bolshevik leader. There ensues a tense situation in which Hughes is caught between his love for Ana and his hostility toward her brother. Eventually, Hughes and Nestor are reconciled, but in the end both fall victim to a vengeful nobleman who has been dispossessed of his wealth by the new regime.

My English Grandfather is Nana Jorjadze's first major film, based on a screenplay by her husband Irakli Kvirikadze. The theme of the foreigner stranded in Soviet Georgia, who has a love affair with a local woman, resurfaces in Jorjadze's best-known film A Chef in Love.[4] Other noteworthy features of the film include the music, composed by Enri Lolashvili, the brother of the actor Janri Lolashvili (who plays the role of Hughes in the film),[5][6] and the use of foreigners (mostly students residing in Tbilisi at the time) to voice-over the bits of English dialogue that appear in the film. One of them supplied Hughes’ voice throughout the film, including those scenes where he speaks Georgian.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Robinsonada or My English Grandfather". Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Les tribulations de mon grand-père anglais au pays des bolcheviks, de Nana Djordjadze". Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Indo-European Telegraph Line". Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  4. ^ Tuite, Kevin (2010). "review of Bruce Grant, The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus". Comparative Studies in Society and History. 52 (2): 485–6. doi:10.1017/S0010417510000253. S2CID 143794479.
  5. ^ "მუსიკალური პროექტი Nostalgie". Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  6. ^ "ენრი ლოლაშვილი". Retrieved 28 August 2020.

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