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My Happy Family

Chemi Bednieri Ojakhi | ჩემი ბედნიერი ოჯახი

Georgia, 2017


Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016: In a patriarchal society, an ordinary Georgian family lives with three generations under one roof. All are shocked when 52-year-old Manana decides to move out from her parents’ home and live alone. Without her family and her husband, a journey into the unknown begins.

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My Happy Family Dirigida por Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Groß
This aspect of Ekvtimshvili’s screenplay is particularly well-pitched: a middle aged woman must have a concrete reason for wanting to leave her family. Manana doesn’t have one, and this is what unnerves people most. . . . In other words, her decision to live alone is never painted as a decision to abandon her role as a mother and a daughter. The appeal of Manana as a character and of My Happy Family as a film is that a woman can be both independent and dependable.
March 10, 2018
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The lightness of touch allows plentiful moments of black humor to break through during even the family’s most explosive fights. Manana’s mother, Lamara, whose melodramatic posturing outsizes her frail frame, is a particular delight. My Happy Family abounds in accomplished long takes, which capture the fullness of relative newcomer Shugliashvili’s performance as Manana: the camera adeptly tracks Manana through family gatherings, mapping her family home as a heavily subjective space.
December 27, 2017
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The urgency and tension of each scene emerges organically. I was also mesmerized by the intimate detail with which this world was rendered — everything from the particular way a cheese seller holds out her hands while giving an old friend a hug, to the subtle ways that men and women reorganize themselves when in large groups. There isn’t a single second that doesn’t ring as achingly true.
November 29, 2017
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