Directed by Julie Bertuccelli, starring Esther Gorintin, Dinara Droukarova and Nino Khomassouridze.

Life has changed in Georgia since the fall of Communism, but for Marina (Khomassouridze) it remains a struggle. Widowed, she must find money to take care of her elderly mother Eka (Gorintin), teenage daughter Ada (Droukarova) and contend with power cuts, water shortages and the fact that she'll always come second best to Otar, her brother who lives in illegally in Paris.

But Marina's feelings towards Otar are complicated even further when she receives the news that he has died on a building site. Grief-stricken and feeling guilty for not having a closer relationship with him while he was alive, Marina must now decide whether to tell her mother that Otar is dead.

Documentary filmmaker Bertuccelli makes a fine feature debut with this three-generational character study of women who feel let down by their society - and ultimately each other. Like Wolfgang Becker's 'Good Bye, Lenin!', the plot spins on a deception to keep someone in ill-health alive, but while this film is more distant and moves at a far slower pace, it's a compelling look at the people that progress forgot.

Any film featuring a stubborn and strong-willed grandmother is always wide open for show-stealing and Polish-born actress Gorintin duly obliges. 90-years-old, the resilience of both her and her character merge into one, with your admiration growing even further when the story moves to Paris.

If you want a film whose ending is happy and sad at the same time look no further.

Harry Guerin