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Absurdistan (2008) More at IMDbPro »

Absurdistan -- Two childhood sweethearts seem destined for one another, until the women of their isolated village, angered by male indifference toward the water shortage, go on a sex strike that threatens the young couple's first night of love.


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Veit Helmer (writer)
Gordan Mihic (writer)
View company contact information for Absurdistan on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 March 2008 (Germany) See more »
An allegorical comedy centered on two childhood sweethearts who seem destined for one another until the women of their isolated village... See more » | Add synopsis »
5 wins & 4 nominations See more »
(6 articles)
The Best Films to Go Direct to DVD in 2009
 (From IFC. 22 December 2009, 11:56 AM, PST)

Husbands and Wives
 (From IFC. 18 August 2009, 7:10 AM, PDT)

 (From Scorecard Review. 2 April 2009, 10:37 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Hmm... See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order)
Kristyna Malérová ... Aya
Max Mauff ... Temelko (as Maximilian Mauff)
Nino Chkheidze ... Grandmother
Ivane Ivantbelidze ... Shooting Gallery Guy
Ani Amiridze ... Shooting Gallery Guy's Daughter
Ilko Stefanovski ... Guri - Temelko's Father
Assun Planas ... Temelko's Mother
Otto Kuhnle ... Barber
Hijran Nasirova ... Barber's Wife
Hendrik Arnst ... Landlord
Olga Nefyodova ... Landlord's Wife
Adalat Ziyadkhanov ... Policeman (as Adalet Zyadhanov)
Matanat Atakishiyeva ... Policeman's Wife
Azelarab Kaghat ... Baker
Michaela Bandi ... Baker's Wife
Blagoja Spirkovski-Dzumerko ... Cobbler (as Blagoja Spirkovski)
Dace Bonate ... Cobbler's Wife
Elxan Quliyev ... Bus Driver (as Elhan Guliyev)
Julietta Koleva ... Bus Driver's Wife
Helder Freire Costa ... Doctor (as Helder Costa)
Monica Calle ... Doctor's Wife (as Mónica Calle)
Kazim Abdullayev ... Shepherd
Firangiz Babayeva ... Shepherd's Wife (as Firangiz Babyeva)
László Németh ... Postman
Sarah Bensoussan ... Postman's Wife
Mubariz Alixanli ... Watchmaker
Khatuna Ioseliani ... Watchmaker's Wife
Nurradin Guliyev ... Beekeeper
Elena Spitsina ... Beekeeper's Wife
Radomil Uhlir ... Butcher
Suzana Petricevic ... Butcher's Wife
Rafiq Azimov ... Carpenter
Nelli Cozaru ... Carpenter's Wife
Vlasta Velisavljevic ... Veteran
Gisela Fritsch ... Grandmother (voice) (as Gisela Fritsch-Pukass)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jevgeni Beliaikin ... Temelko (voice)

Directed by
Veit Helmer 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Zaza Buadze  writer
Veit Helmer  writer
Gordan Mihic  writer

Produced by
Veit Helmer .... producer
Linda Kornemann .... executive producer
Original Music by
Shigeru Umebayashi 
Cinematography by
Giorgi Beridze 
Film Editing by
Vincent Assmann 
Casting by
Pep Armengol 
Suse Marquardt 
Patrícia Vasconcelos 
Production Design by
Erwin Prib 
Art Direction by
Sergej Bulavin 
Costume Design by
Serap Bahadir 
Makeup Department
Madonna Chanturia .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alina Abdullayeva .... assistant director
Fred Gasimov .... assistant director
Art Department
Irakli Mchedlidze .... set dresser
Sound Department
Alexej Ashkenazy .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Martin Frühmorgen .... sound designer
Martin Frühmorgen .... sound
Robert Jäger .... sound re-recording mixer
Bernd Popella .... adr recordist
Carsten Richter .... foley artist
Immo Trümpelmann .... sound designer
Immo Trümpelmann .... sound
Hanse Warns .... foley mixer
Visual Effects by
Rudolf Germann .... digital artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Giorgi Kandelaki .... bestboy
Casting Department
Waléra Kanischtscheff .... casting: Belarus: BY
Editorial Department
Philipp Großmann .... digital intermediate supervisor
Music Department
Lars Löhn .... composer: additional music
Corinna Assmann .... thanks
Valerie Assmann .... thanks
Tobias Frühmorgen .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Bathing In MoonlightSee more »


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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Hmm..., 4 November 2012
Author: rooprect from New York City

I'll start by attempting to summarize the difference between "American comedy" and "East European comedy" in broad terms. Trust me, this is going somewhere...

American comedy focuses on characters. Gags rely on the personalities of the people involved, facial expressions, closeups, voice tones, and what we, the audience, are led to feel about these characters. For example, when Christopher Walken says "It needs more cowbell" that's all she wrote. A million intricate nuances of Walken's personality and delivery are what make that joke fly.

East European comedies (I'm thinking mainly of films by Kusturica, Paradjanov, and early Forman which remind me of "Absurdistan") seem to rely on situations and surroundings rather than close characterizations. Shots are filmed from a distance so that we take in more of the scenery and atmosphere, and we rarely get lingering closeups the way we do in American comedies. For example, in Forman's hilarious "The Fireman's Ball", one of the funniest scenes is the chaotic madness at the beauty competition where the camera stays far from the action and we don't really see any faces. We just take in the absurdness of the whole scene.

===OK FINALLY... THE REVIEW OF ABSURDISTAN=== "Absurdistan" falls squarely in the "East European comedy" category. The characters are deliberately 2-dimensional, as if the director is telling us that the story is what's important, not the actors. Like a Paradjanov film, it's a fairytale that doesn't want to be upstaged by human interference. Thus, no time is wasted on personal backstories, dramatic emotions, or charisma. None of the characters even have names except the main two. There aren't many pauses for reflection, and there's only one real monologue scene showing us the girl Aya's inner self.

Normally I would have no problem with this presentation. Like I said, Forman's "The Fireman's Ball" is one of the funniest films I've seen, even though I couldn't name a single character or describe their personalities. But in "Absurdistan" it presents a noticeable void in that this is a love story. For a love story to have maximum effect, the director must invest some time creating an emotional connection between the lead character(s) and the audience. Here instead, most of the characters are caricatures of vices, making them thoroughly unlikeable. Even the two lead characters commit certain acts that may make you dislike them.

So if you decide to see this movie, don't expect a very personal story. This Ain't no Hugh Grant flick. Instead, take "Absurdistan" at a distance as the movie is probably intended to be watched. This movie is a metaphor, a fable, a fairytale, and we aren't supposed to get caught up waiting for some personal emotional payoff.

If you've seen Viet Helmer's prior film "Tuvalu" it has much of the same approach. Except Tuvalu is not a love story, so the disconnection between characters & audience works. Here in "Absurdistan" it presents a conflict which may or may not fly, depending on how you like your love stories.

A final note, which may or may not mean anything to you, is that there are a few disturbing scenes with animals. A mule getting pulled & prodded, a chained dog getting soaked, a horse being tied up in a nasty looking horse-shoeing device, and a dead chicken that looked pretty real. Since this film was made in Azerbaijan outside the American Humane & RSPCA's jurisdiction, there certainly wasn't any "No animals were harmed" disclaimer at the end. If anyone knows how those scenes were monitored please post something about it.

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