Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Since Otar Left 2003

Despuis qu'Otar est parti

Directed by Julie Bertuccelli

Belgium / France In French and Georgian with English subtitles
100 minutes 35mm


Julie Bertuccelli
Bernard Renucci
Roger Bohbot


Christophe Pollock


Emmanuelle Castro


Esther Gorintin
Nino Khomassouridze
Dinara Droukarova


Cannes (Critics’ Week) 2003


This lovely, piquant film concerns the ways in which we protect those we love from the truth. Its three protagonists live in falling-apart, post-Soviet Tibilisi, but their hearts are in Paris with the absent man of the family, Otar. We hope that the film’s gifted young French director will join us as a guest of WIFT (Women in Film and Televison).

“Julie Bertuccelli’s very beautiful first feature is suffused with indelible humanist values and emotions. An extremely touching story of three generations of Georgian women coping with tragedy and loss, the film is traditionally and effectively made; it also is superbly acted… Since Otar Left has the great advantage of a very well-written and constructed screenplay and a trio of sublime performances. Actress Khomassouridze confidently carries out the difficult task of suggesting a middle-aged woman's unfulfilled past and the gloomy future she faces. Russian actress Droukarova is equally good as the youthful Ada, an intelligent and well-educated girl who obviously feels constrained by her life in Tbilisi but who adores her grandmother. Best of all is 90-year-old Polish-born Gorintin, whose Eka is a sublime creation. Feisty and tenacious, she doesn’t allow old age to constrain her in the least. Though politically conservative, she has great depths of reserves, and the scenes in Paris in which she searches for her son are highly charged emotionally… Few will be unmoved by this universally applicable tale.” — David Stratton, Variety