Georgia and ex-USSR say goodbye to “Mimino”

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In the late 1970s a mustachioed pilot with a kindly, gap-toothed smile and a velvety baritone sent hearts aflutter across the USSR. A small-town Georgian who came to Russia with a dream to fly big planes, the pilot was the titular protagonist in the bittersweet comedy film “Mimino” (Georgian for sparrow hawk). Georgian singer and actor Vakhtang (Buba) Kikabidze played the role of Mimino. Naïve, proud, talented and roguishly handsome, he grew to personify Georgia in the eyes of Soviet viewers. From Russia, to Ukraine, to Kazakhstan, everyone went humming “Chito-Gvrito,” the movie’s theme song, …

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