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Absurdistan (2008)

Kristyna Malerova , Maximilian Mauff , Veit Helmer  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kristyna Malerova, Maximilian Mauff
  • Directors: Veit Helmer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002AJQ7H4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,485 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Absurdistan" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with Director
  • Director Biography
  • Photo Gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

{Official Selection Sundance Film Festival}

Welcome to Absurdistan, a small village in the high desert mountains, just on the outskirts of reality, where magical visions and bizarre events fuse together.

The village is facing a water shortage, but the men are too lazy to fix a rickety pipeline and the women are getting fed up with their good-for-nothing husbands. Led by young Aya, the women make a simple vow: "No water, no sex." The men's only hope is Temelko, whose long promised wedding with Aya is put on hold until he finds a solution for the water problem.


An irresistible tale of love and perseverance with magic at its heart! --Seattle Times

Charming and visually inventive! A sweet and silly delight. --San Francisco Bay Guardian

Truly romantic! Easy on the eyes, ears and funny bone! --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sweet human comedy August 20, 2009

Reportedly based on a true story (though with quite a bit of legendary embellishment, one assumes, at least in its more fantastical elements), "Absurdistan" takes place in a remote village where the women wage a full-fledged battle-of-the-sexes, agreeing to withhold their conjugal duties until the men in the community repair the pipe that for decades has brought water to the town. The story also features Tamelko (Max Mauff) and Aya (Kristyna Malerova) as two teenagers whose own plans to finally consummate their relationship must now be put on hold.

Homespun in appearance and humanistic in tone, "Absurdistan" (a German film done in Russian) is highly reminiscent of those quirky Czech comedies that enjoyed such popularity here in the States back in the 1960s. The scenes set in the past have been deliberately designed to look like aging home movies - grainy, washed-out, and scratchy - while those set in the present are crisp, clean and bursting with color.

The movie blends small town humor with touches of magic realism and the occasional flight of fancy. There are times, admittedly, when the movie gets a little too silly and cutesy for its own good, but, on the positive side, it never takes itself too seriously or condescends to its characters. The mood is upbeat and the details charming in what amounts to a modern-day (but not TOO modern-day) version of "Lysistrata."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absurdistan: A Breath of Fresh Air August 9, 2010
Remember 'Lysistrata' written by Aristophanes in 411 BC, a comedy of 'one woman's extraordinary mission to end The Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace, a strategy however that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for its exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society and for its use of both double entendre and explicit obscenities'? Writer/director Veit Helmer (with co-writers Gordon Mihic and Zaza Buadze) have very successfully updated this tale, bathed it in magical realism and fantasy, placed it somewhere along the Silk Road in the mountains where no one would want to live, and have called it ABSURDISTAN. This is one of those films that very thankfully requires us to surrender the need for realism and substitute the pleasure of laughing and spend a comfortable hour and a half of parody of current sexism and the rich treasures of old movies, bawdy silliness, and the magic of love. For this viewer it works on every level - thanks in part to the imaginative cinematography of Giorgi Beridze and the charm of Shigeru Umebayashi's musical score.

Absurdistan has a problem: the water supply that comes from a complex well system in the mountains outside the town has diminished to a trickle. The men of the town ignore their wives' complaints, preferring instead to gather daily in the local teahouse, leaving the women to not only tend to their homes but also finish the work of the men.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable trips. . .sweet journeys July 15, 2010
I will take any Veit Helmer (the film's director) vehicle anywhere at anytime.

His "Tuvalu" and his "Absurdistan" bring you to magical places. At times in these remarkable films--perhaps because they are so unique--there are moments of disbelief. They soon pass because--if you are open to his magic--you will believe in his characters and in their worlds fully and forever.
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