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Andrei is the head of a gang of antisemitic skinheads clinging to the old communist ideals in post-Communist Moscow. When he learns that his long lost father actually is a Jewish bohemian living in Moscow, rather than an Afghanistan war hero, he traces him down in order to kill him. But the intriguing father and his "reactionary" lifstyle soon fascinates Andrei which leads to a clash with his gang. Written by
Robert Zeithammel <email@example.com>
An anti-semite comes to terms with his Jewish ancestry
This French-Russian production is a visually stark and potent film about life in post-Soviet (and pre-Putin) Russia. The main character is Andrei, a young, anti-semitic Muscovite bodybuilder who is the leader of a gang whose goals is showing brute Russian strength. They live in Luna Park, an amusement park, a place of wild rollercoasters and distorting mirrors, where they regularly beat up on "non-Russians," the foreigners and Jews who come there. During a drunken confessional, a close relative tells Andrei that his father is a Jew and still alive in Moscow.
This fact turns Andrei's life upside-down, partly out of revulsion from whom he is descended, and partly because he wants to know (and be) with his father, and he must someway reconcile himself with this with discovery.
The film is not one necessarily of thoughtful, quiet introspection, but of hijinx, clashes, and turmoil, and interactions. Andrei vacillates between his role as the participatory leader of a brutal gang, and that of a son learning about his father. Without giving away too much information, Luna Park, the amusement park where the action begins, is where the climax happens, and is a metaphor for Russia and what it has to face.
"Luna Park" may not be a pretty film. There's the ugly side to the human nature depicted in the skinheads brutal actions and the decay of Russian society blamed on "non-Russians." But the majority of the film regards Oleg's journey and transformation as he gets to know his father, and this is the rewarding, and ultimately beautiful side of the film.
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