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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Directed by Veit Helmer
First Run Features 02/09 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Absurdistan is a small village of 14 families in a desolate mountain region. They have a few stories about the origin of the place but just can't figure out what to do when the underground water supply stops and suddenly there is nothing for drinking, baths, the animals, or washing clothes. The men in the town have a private tea house where they gather. They are a rowdy lot having sex with their wives whenever they want as well as getting their way most of the time.
There are only two young persons left in town; the others have moved away. Temelko (Maximilian Mauff) and Aya (Kristyna Malerova) were born on the same day, grew up together as friends, and were married in a mock ceremony. Now they are ready for the real thing but are told by her grandmother, an astrologer, that they are destined to marry on July 11 and they must bathe before having sex. When no one rises to the occasion to fix the town's water supply, Temelko leaves to study in the city.
While he is gone, Aya and all the women in the community decide to take matters into their own hands: "No water, no sex." When Temelko returns he finds a divided Absurdistan with men on one side and women on the other. The women have a variety of weapons to keep the men away from them, and all the schemes of the men fall flat. That leaves it to Temelko to solve the problem of the water delivery system alone. In the back of his mind is being with Aya on the magical night of July 11.
Veit Helmer directs this playful fable in Russian with English subtitles. There are several very funny sequences and a few bawdy moments in this jaunty tale of the battles of the sexes. It more than adequately makes the timely point that water is an extremely precious resource in our lives and in our communities. Best of all is the affection Aya and Temelko have for each other along with the big surprise he has for her awaiting her on the top of a mountain!
Extras on the DVD include an interview with the director and photos.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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