(Georges Babluani, Aurélien Recoing, Pascal Bongard, Fred Ulysse, et al / R / 95 mins / Palm Pictures)
Overview: Twenty-two-year-old Sebastien (Georges Babluani) leads an impoverished life with his immigrant family constantly struggling to support them. While repairing the roof of a neighbor’s house, he overhears a conversation about an expected package which promises to make the household rich. Sensing the opportunity of a lifetime, Sebastien intercepts the package which contains a series of specific instructions.
Verdict: OK, let's get this straight from the start - '13 Tzameti' [shot in grainy monochrome] is, well ... simply, awesome! This new film from 26-year-old Georgian director Gela Babluani is a wonderfully taut economical thriller, which admittedly starts off slow and gentle, but then ratchets up the tension until the end, well, it literally grips you like a vise! Whether or not these games are real, the inhumanity of the protagonists, and the utter awfulness of the situation that Sebastian finds himself in are totally believable. Oh, and don't even think of resting your brain, your body, or your nerves at any point towards the end of '13' as just as you relax, it throws in a final cruel twist!