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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Since Otar Left

It's a wonderful film! The story is about three women, grandmother, daughter and granddaughter, who live in Tbilisi, trying to get by on next to nothing, but with a deeply abiding love of France. The daughter's brother, Otar, has left for Paris to get some work to support the family; every now and again he writes and sends some money. The grandmother lives for these letters.

Then Otar has an accident and dies. How to break it to the grandmother? They can't - her heart is weak. So a process of deception starts, not unlike that in 'Goodbye, Lenin'. Which works, after a fashion (though it is not possible to replace the money no longer being sent), until granny decides to go and visit Otar in Paris.

The film is largely set in Tbilisi and surrounding countryside - I recognized the post office, the street beside Macdonalds, the Iveria hotel which at the time still housed the refugees (and now is an empty shell in the process of becoming a Radisson hotel), the steep cobbled streets not that far from me, the power cuts, thankfully not the water cuts, some of the other places, more or less derelict....

Esther Gorintin, who plays the granny, is the absolute absolute star of the film; she does not do very much, but the way she looks at people, at things, when contemplating - it melts your heart.
Worth rushing out to see it, if it ever comes to your neighbourhood!

2 comments:

musicaclasica said...

Just returning your visit, I really hadn't thought about those kids of Classical Star going to school!

cheers!

varske said...

where did you see it? Is it on international release?