Since Otar Left… (Depuis qu’Otar est parti...)

Language: French, Russian, and Georgian, with English or French subtitles

Availability: Readily available in the US!  Netflix: Instant  and DVD rental, Amazon: Instant Video rental and DVD for purchase.

My friend from Georgian class recommended this movie to me, and her streak of excellent movie recommendations remains unbroken.  I watched “Since Otar Left” with my parents, and all three of us enjoyed the movie very much.  The plot is relatively simple but sweet (I’ll leave it vague here so as to avoid any spoilers) and deals nicely with the concepts of love and honesty, and how the two virtues are not always compatible.  It does not, however, veer into overly saccharine or idealistic territory.  I particularly liked the way the film portrayed life in Georgia in the late-Shevardnadze era.  I had no experience of the country at that time, but the movie’s portrayal seems to jive with my understanding of the era, and is simultaneously sympathetic and critical.  It shows infrastructural troubles–the phone, electricity, and water come and go–as well as some of the social problems of the era–doctors taking construction jobs abroad, engineers selling their worldly possessions at the Dry Bridge, lack of opportunity for advancement–while also being deeply infused with a love of Georgia and Georgian culture.  “Since Otar Left” is a lovely movie, and one of the few easily-available opportunities to relax and get a taste of Georgia while remaining in the US.  I highly recommend it!