Three Georgian women, strong-willed matriarch Eka (90-year-old former dental assistant and fledgling star Esther Gorintin), her long-suffering daughter Marina (Nino Khomassouridze) and rebellious granddaughter Ada (“Freeze, Die, Come to Life”‘s Dinara Droukarova), all live together in their stately-yet-crumbling apartment in contemporary Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic. Eka pines for her beloved son Otar, a physician who is now a construction worker in Paris. Marina is deeply resentful of her mother’s obsession with her absent brother, while Ada endures their bickering and yearns for a more adventurous existence. When a friend of Otar’s calls with tragic news, Marina and Ada must make a seemingly impossible choice: Do they keep Eka from learning the truth?
Former assistant director to Bertrand Tavernier and Krzysztof Kieslowski, Bertuccelli deftly spins the delicate threads of familial conflict and maternal love into a bewitching tangle of intergenerational duplicity.
Julie Bertucelli (1968) studied philosophy and documentary. She was an assistant director to Otar Iosseliani, Krysztof Kieslowski, Bertrand Tavernier, Rithy Panh and Emmanuel Finkiel. She has made several documentaries; Since Otar Left is her first feature. —IFFR
Those great films where love, rupture, nostalgy and hope are captured in one single shot. Moving.