Since Otar Left … (Movie)

I don’t normally blog movies I’ve seen, but we just watched Since Otar Left … and it was one of the most touching movies I’ve seen in a long time. It takes place mostly in Tbilisi, Georgia and ends in Paris. The three main characters are a grandmother Eka, daughter Marina, and grandaughter Ada who are dealing with each other, life in post-independence Georgia and Otar, the missing brother of Marina (and beloved son of Eka.) The family are francofiles and Otar has gone to work in Paris where he dies in an accident. Like the movie Good Bye Lenin! (2003), Marina and Ada conspire to pretend Otar is still alive. Unlike Good Bye Lenin! the deception isn’t really about politics, doesn’t descend into farce, and leads to a touching conclusion for Ada. I found the movie dealt well with life in Georgia for an educated family without being about Georgia. It ultimately focuses on three generations of strong women, offering one of the best depictions of an independent grandmother I’ve seen. All three actresses are terrific, but Eka (who, according to the distributor is a “90-year-old former dental assistant and fledgling star Esther Gorintin”) is a character we almost never see in Holywood films.

A must see.