Since Otar Left (2004)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A drama that's both funny and moving.

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Movie Info

A family is forced into deception for the sake of their matriarch in this poignant drama. Three generations of women share a tiny apartment in Tbilisi, a Georgia city that has been devastated by war, political instability, and a ruined economy. Eka (Esther Gorintin) is an elderly woman whose health is failing, but her will remains strong and she holds sway over the household. Eka's daughter, Marina (Nino Khomassouridze), is a middle-aged woman who is still dealing with the devastating circumstances of her childhood and the death of her husband. And Marina's daughter, Ada (Dinara Droukarova), is a college student who feels trapped by her circumstances and abraded by her lack of privacy; she has a lover, but since she must share a bed with her mother, they can only make love in his car. The light of Eka's life is her son, Otar, who has fled Tbilisi and lives in Paris. Otar writes frequently and sends money as often as he can, and while Marina resents her mother's obvious favoritism toward her brother, she and Ada realize how important his letters are to her. While Eka is visiting friends, Marina and Ada receive devastating news -- Otar has died in Paris, and since he wasn't carrying his visa when his body was found, he's been buried in an unmarked pauper's grave. Afraid this news would be a severe blow to Eka's poor health, Marina doesn't tell her mother what has happened, and Ada begins writing letters as Otar to maintain the illusion that he's alive. The ruse works well enough until Eka announces she's raised enough money by selling her possessions to visit her son in France. Depuis Qu'Otar Est Parti... (aka Since Otar Left) is the first feature film from director Julie Bertuccelli; it received an enthusiastic reception when it was screened at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Box Office:
$220,305.00
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Jacques Fleury
as Businessman #1
Manon Abashidze
as Mailman #1
Irina Tukhulova
as Professor
Iago Demetrashvili
as Father Alexi
Vaja Djalagania
as Photographer
Sarah Chaumette
as Stewardess
Misha Mujiri
as Plant Manager
Frederic Payen
as Businessman #2
Manana Taralashvili
as Mailman #2
Medea Roinshvili
as Neighbor
Gocha Darbaidze
as Otar in Photo
Malamine Sissokho
as Taxi Driver
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Since Otar Left

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (23)

Bertuccelli tackles Since Otar Left... with the kind of ambitious imagination that makes one marvel at a natural filmmaker's unexpected and original choices.

November 12, 2004
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The finely crafted film shows the complex needs and anxieties of a three-generation family living in a country that has undergone dramatic political and cultural changes.

Full Review… | August 27, 2004
Miami Herald
Top Critic

This emotionally rich situation is played for all its worth by the entire cast, but the standout is Gorintin.

August 19, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

It is a film that understands women, but more importantly, understands life.

Full Review… | August 6, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Otar and Lenin make terrific bookends on the post-communist experience for average citizens.

Full Review… | August 6, 2004
Denver Post
Top Critic

Whatever film acting is about -- technique, presence or truth-telling -- [Esther Gorintin] got it.

August 6, 2004
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Since Otar Left

Not a bad movie by any means, but I wouldn't go around recommending it either. It follows the story of three women who are in different stages of life, and live together and are challenged by the new world order...democracy. All three women do a great job acting out their parts, and extra praise must be given to the oldest of the three. I thought it was ok, but found nothing ground-breaking or cutting edge regarding the film.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

If you are an emigrant and ever wonder how is life at home now that you have left, I strongly recommend this movie. This is the perfect glimpse at that life that goes on without you. The very touching part of this movie is that the absent person is the most present of all. I loved the topic, the development and the acting. Very good movie.

monica florez
monica florez
½

Julie Bertuccelli did a fabulous work in bringing all these actors together for a stellar performance in this intergenerational tale.

Anita Streich
Anita Streich

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