Since Otar Left

A heart-warming film coated in grim and depressing surroundings. It’s the story of three women of the same family; a young woman, a mother, and an ageing grandmother. The film is set in Georgia, and the poor economic circumstances in which they live. The main themes of the story centre around the unseen Otar (hence the title) who has departed Georgia for France in search of a better life, just how highly Grandmother holds Otar in regard, the coming of age of the young woman, and the stress of the mother holding her family together.

Overall, I felt the film executed the family dynamic very well – Bertuccelli would have made Yasujirō Ozu proud. It was an interesting snapshot into a life in a country I had very little prior knowledge of. If I was particularly familiar with Georgia or uninterested in other countries & cultures then I think it would be easy to criticise the film as being boring or without a plot. The family dynamic of daughter, mother and grandmother can seem surprisingly dysfunctional and yet strong which peaked my interest of what would happen next throughout.

The story is about Otar but the film is about the daughter (Ada wonderfully acted by Dinara Drukarova) slowly depicts the character’s growth, delicately balancing Ada’s resemblance to her mother and evergrowing firmness in dealing with her mother too.

Also, I have to add that the grandmother is adorable!

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