Fontan (1989)

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Moscow. A typical Russian family. They decide to take home Maya's father: an aborigine who lives in the desert and has never seen any modern comfort, neither speaks the language. Once ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Asankul Kuttubayev ...
Sergey Dreyden ...
Lagutin (as Sergey Dontsov)
Shanna Kerimtayeva ...
Viktor Mikhaylov ...
Aleksei Zalivalov ...
Nina Usatova
Anatoliy Kalmykov ...
Lyudmila Samokhvalova ...
Nikolai Trankov ...
Ivan Gavrilovich (as N. Trankov)
Lyubov Arkus
Nijole Adomenaite
Yuri Mamin
Valentin Maslov
Valeri Mironov
Ivan Krivoruchko ...


Moscow. A typical Russian family. They decide to take home Maya's father: an aborigine who lives in the desert and has never seen any modern comfort, neither speaks the language. Once living in their apartment, the old man begins to act in a strange way, adoring the refrigerator and the pipelines as if they were gods. Written by Michel Rudoy <>

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Release Date:

20 December 1989 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Fountain  »

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User Reviews

really, really funny movie
4 February 2007 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Just saw this today for the first time and really liked it. It was very funny and original. The story concerns an elderly man (not sure where he's from but I'd guess from around eastern Russia around Asia) who leaves his isolated desert homeland to live with his daughter in a typical Russian city, a place that is bizarre to him, never having known any modern technology. Only his daughter can talk to and understand him. Her husband (who gives the old man a job watching over water pipes in the building basement) and his friend (who is kinda like the superintendent) struggle to keep their old decrepit building from literally falling apart through different escalating disasters that the tenants must deal with. There's also a weird musician who never talks and "flies" now-and-then for inspiration to the dismay of the building intendants from the roof of their building; the scenes where he works on his music are really fun to watch. There is an old lady who can't stop talking about her dead father who was a famous (she makes it seem) poet who lived in the building. Another family is one who grow (I think illegally) flowers (the dad's hobby) in their apartment, and the mother is a struggling actress, and her father (who hates her husband) lives with them and their little daughter. As the film progresses, the building and the tenants start to crack (literally and figuratively) under some sort of stress, and people resort to stranger, funnier and crazier ways of expressing themselves and the dealing with the situation. All the characters go through hilarious situations, some funny, some are sad, but a humor always keeps the viewer hopeful. The story (except the intro of the old man in his home land) i believe takes place in one long day and is divided into 7 parts with different significant names to what is in that part, but the story flows uninterrupted and the parts just serve as a nifty framing device. This movie was incredibly funny. Most of it everyone can laugh at but there were some jokes that I felt i got because I'm Russian, like the granny selling candles to the tenants after the power goes out, this is supposed to remind the viewer of Russian churches where people can buy and light candles, in fact her candles are those same church ones, so that could be her job. There are quite a few hilarious mentions of perestroika (which began the previous year) - my fave is when the superintendent friend lies to the local housing party leaders that the cause of water loss is because the tenants are revolting against perestroika and are conducting an economical "experiment", which pleases the communists there and attracts attention. Lika every Mamin film I see, this one is just as great; filled with great characters, satire, cinematography, et cetera. He is truly an awesome director. This film is recommended to everyone.

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