Vladimir Barskiy played Commander Golikov in Battleship Potemkin having started directing and acting in theatre in 1892. During the Georgian Democratic Socialist Republic (1918 -1921) he worked in the People’s House in Tbilisi, and then became director of the State Committee for Industry of Georgia. Bela is the second film in his trilogy based on Lermontov’s A Hero Of Our Time that he made in the 1920s in Georgia.
Against a backdrop of ravishing mountain scenery, the morally vacuous ‘hero’ Perochin, arrives at a mountain regiment near a Circassian village in the Caucasus. After a few months of agonising boredom, he is drawn to the youngest daughter of the Circassian prince, Bela. He hatches a plot with her brother Azamat to kidnap Bela. This remarkable film has just been restored by the National Archive of Georgia.