Captain Wakusch: The author Giwi Margwelaschwili


A film by Kerstin Nickig

Reading time: 2 minutes
Teaser Image Caption
A scene from the film

The short documentary film “Kapitän Wakusch” or in english: “Captain Wakusch” is a poetical portrait of the German-Georgian writer and philosopher Giwi Margwelashvili, born in 1927 in Berlin, died 2020 in Tbilisi. A permanent stranger and migrant between Germany and Georgia, East and West, reality and literature. The film is based on interviews with the old author in the last years before his death in 2020 and extracts from his autobiographical novel “Captain Wakusch”. It was funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Margwelashvili’s alter ego and main hero of his novel Captain Wakusch as well as himself, is raised in Berlin in a family of political immigrants from Georgia – a broken family, he says. His efforts to be a real Berlin boy, end up without success when he is thrown out of the Hitler youth camp for playing his favourite jazz albums to his mates. Captain Wakush soon becomes part of the Berlin Swing Youth (Swingjugend) of the forties, dancing to the hot rhythms of his maestro Tullio Mobiglia in the Kakadu dance bar; feeling that this music, and jazz music on the whole, is a taste of the freedom found in the “dixielandish” world…

The film takes you into Captain Wakusch’s alias Giwi Margwelaschwili’s life’s journey which consists of many unexpected twists and turns. Captain Wakusch has to find his path between the two DEADLY TEXTS of the twentieth century – the Nazi ideology and the communist ideology. And finds islands of freedom and individuality between the lines – sometimes! Private and historical archive footage, new footage and a lot of good jazz music make you experience the life’s journey of the character (or is it the author – you never know).

His little known work creates a whole literary cosmos with its own playful rules and special relations between author, characters and reader.

A playful-literary portrait of a very free person.

Click the link to watch the film


Director and author: Kerstin Nickig

Production: Time Prints KG

In cooperation with the Heinrich Boell Foundation

All rights licensed

© Time Prints, Germany 2021 (30 min.)