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The one joy in the lives of a mother and daughter comes from the regular letters sent to them from Paris from the family's adored son, Otar. When the daughter finds out that Otar has died suddenly, she tries to conceal the truth from her mother, changing the course of their lives forever. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
"Since Otar Left" is about three generations of Georgian women (an old women, her daughter, and her granddaughter) who live in austerity in an old flat in Georgia. The grandmother looks forward to letters she receives from her only other offspring, a son Otar, who is working in Paris. When Otar dies unexpectedly, the two younger women intercept the bad news and hatch a plan to keep the letters and the happiness they bring coming to the old woman. As the film develops this meager plot and we watch the women trudge through their mundane daily activities we are unaware of a more significant plot developing before our eyes with both plots culminating suddenly at the film's end.
Those who prefer a steady diet of the usual commercial Hollywood film products will likely find "Since Otar Left" a monotonous film of little consequence. However, those who enjoy the people stories of French cinema with their natural and finely nuanced studies of human nature, this sensitive, plaintive, and charming gem is a fly-on-the-wall look at a slice-of-Georgian-life which should not be missed. (A-)
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