My Happy Family (2017)—Georgia
This domestic drama from the Central Asian country of Georgia enjoyed positive reviews when it showed at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals. I watched it after reading an article that included it as one of several "hidden gems" on Netflix Streaming. The story features a fifty-something school teacher named Manana who, against all social and religious expectations in a conservative country, leaves her family. What follows is shame and blame by just about everyone, especially by her brother Rezo who patronizes Manana, and her belligerent mother Lamara. She's shaming the family! It's a disgrace! She's ungrateful! Your husband Soso is a good man! There's even a family "intervention" to guilt-trip her into returning. To all of this Manana has a firm response: "I'm a grown woman, so stop trying to control me and lecture me." At a high school reunion, she learns secrets about Soso that she didn't know, and back at home their son Lasha and daughter Nino add to the domestic turmoil. One thing's for sure, at her apartment on the outskirts of town, every time she opens the door to the outside balcony, there's a strong wind blowing through the trees. In Georgian with English subtitles.