Since Otar Left . . . | Chicago Reader

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A trio of finely observant performances graces this quiet drama about an elderly mother (Esther Gorintin), her middle-aged daughter (Nino Khomasuridze), and her adult granddaughter (Dinara Drukarova) uneasily sharing an apartment in the Georgian city of Tbilisi. The old woman has long slighted her daughter in favor of an absent son, Otar, whose life in Paris has become an object of fantasy to her. After the daughter learns that Otar has been killed in a construction accident, she and her own daughter conceal the news from the old woman, though the granddaughter questions their motives for doing so. Writer-director Julie Bertucelli, an assistant to Krzysztof Kieslowski and Bertrand Tavernier, makes an impressive debut with this 2003 French feature, whose loving images of the weathered city provide a visual correlative to the characters' worn relationships. In Russian and French with subtitles. 103 min.

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