Sep 062007

We finished watching it tonight. It’s an excellent film — one of the best. I’ll be watching this one again, and not just for the language lessons.

(So far I still rate Vozvrashcheniye as the best Russian language film I’ve seen. Not even Tarkovsky’s films top it, though I haven’t yet watched all of those.)

And there is a 3rd language in Since Otar left, and it is Georgian. The three main actresses all do wonderful work, but I would have thought that requiring fluency in French, Russian, AND Georgian would have constricted the pool of actresses considerably.

I found some good reviews at that explain it. Esther Gorintin, who played the grandma, is Polish and already spoke French and Russian, but refused to learn any Georgian for the film. She was not one of those who spoke Georgian. The granddaughter apparently learned some Georgian, and the mother (Nino Khomasuridze) is a native Georgian.

The Georgian is all gibberish to me, and I have no way of knowing whether the French is good Parisian French or whether the Russian was French-accented. It was fun trying to follow what I could of it (and without subtitles, it would have been a lot less). Following them as they switched from French to Russian and back was interesting enough, but then to have Georgian thrown in as a wild card!

Just as interesting were the ordinary street scenes in both Tblisi and Paris, the home scenes — furnishings, life with intermittent electricity and water — in the apartment in Tbilisi, and the rundown dacha. I would watch it again just for that, but there is a lot more than that to watch.

Sep 052007

We started watching this one tonight. So far it’s a good movie no matter what language the characters are speaking — heading towards a Netflix rating of 5 from me — but are we sure the only two languages being spoken are French and Russian? So far it seems the granddaughter tends to speak French and the mother Russian. The grandma speaks French with her beloved son, and Russian with some of her friends/family. (The sweet grandma defends Stalin and her hard, antagonistic daughter calls him a murderer.) There’s a lot of Russian I don’t understand (French, too, for that matter) but there is some talk in this movie that’s complete gibberish to me. Is it Georgian? From the subtitles I’d expect to understand a few words of it if it was Russian or French, but I don’t follow any of those parts at all.