The Plea is the first movie in Tengiz Abuladze’s trilogy that includes The Wishing Tree and Repentance. The film is a romantic drama based on the Georgian poems by Vazha Pshavela, “Aluda Ketelauri” and “Guest and Host.” The philosophical parables framing the poems are all about the nature of good and evil, as well as the need for us all to fight evil within. Throughout The Plea, the deliberate combination of black and white explores this theme visually in stunning fashion.
Having killed Mutsali in combat, Aluda is impressed by the bravery of his foe and so does not cut off his right hand, as tradition commands. For violating this custom, Aluda’s community banishes him.
Meanwhile, Jokola gets to know Zviadauri while out hunting. Jokola offers to have him stay the night. However, he fails in his sacred responsibility as host, and is not able to prevent locals from coming in and murdering Zviadauri. Not able to bear the insult and failure, Jokola kills himself.