7.5/10
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24 user 42 critic

Tuvalu (1999)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 22 June 2000 (Germany)
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1:44 | Trailer
In a desolate and colorless landscape stands a dilapidated bathhouse run by a puffed-up blind man, his long-suffering wife, and their son Anton, who does all the work. He's lonely and ... See full summary »

Director:

Veit Helmer

Writers:

Michaela Beck (screenplay), Veit Helmer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
24 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Lavant ... Anton
Chulpan Khamatova ... Eva (as Chulpan Hamatova)
Philippe Clay ... Karl
Terrence Gillespie Terrence Gillespie ... Gregor
Catalina Murgea Catalina Murgea ... Martha
E.J. Callahan ... Inspector
Djoko Rosic Djoko Rosic ... Gustav (as Djoko Rossich)
Zlatina Todeva Zlatina Todeva ... Old Woman
Todor Georgiev Todor Georgiev ... Policeman
Georgi Kishkilov Georgi Kishkilov ... Homeless
Petar Evangelatov Petar Evangelatov ... Homeless
Evgeni Jermanov Evgeni Jermanov ... Homeless
Blajo Nikolic Blajo Nikolic ... Homeless
Krikor Hugasjan Krikor Hugasjan ... Homeless (as Krikor Hugasian)
Alexander Dikov Alexander Dikov ... Homeless
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Storyline

In a desolate and colorless landscape stands a dilapidated bathhouse run by a puffed-up blind man, his long-suffering wife, and their son Anton, who does all the work. He's lonely and unsophisticated, and he falls in love with the beautiful Eva, who comes to bathe with her father. When Eva and her father lose their home, they come to the bathhouse to stay, but bits of the ceiling fall on the old man and he dies. Eva blames Anton, and she seems to seek the arms of the brute Gregor. Can Anton win back her heart, get the bathhouse through a rigorous government inspection, and help keep his parents employed? Waiting out there somewhere is the paradise isle of Tuvalu. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Eine Reise in die Welt der Träume

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

None

Release Date:

22 June 2000 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Tuvalu, az álomsziget See more »

Filming Locations:

Bulgaria See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$411,678

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$411,678
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Lucy Tsak Tsak (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Mocking Song
Goran Bregovic (P) and © 1998 Kamarad Productions
Courtesy of Mercury Records, Hamburg (A Universal Music Company)
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User Reviews

Brilliantly offbeat fairy tale around a swimming pool
2 June 2000 | by SergeiiiSee all my reviews

I have never been particularly fond of movies with taglines like "a poetic adventure" or "a journey into the land of dreams" stamped on their front, as this kind of advertising is usually nothing more than a weak excuse for the absence of a coherent plot or some in-depth characterization, leaving you in the guess why the filmmakers didn't stick to the painting of aquarelles in the first place. My expectations sank even lower when I understood that there wasn't going to be any dialogue in "Tuvalu", at least not in the proper sense of the term. So this couldn't be more than a soothing eye candy at best; hopefully free from the embarrassing "isn't our imagination a wonderful thing"-moments or the "why can't we all be children forever"-messages that tend to haunt this specific genre.

After a few moments into the film, I was entirely cured from that kind of prejudice. "Tuvalu" surprisingly brings across the magic that is promised on the poster - and it works well for a variety of reasons. First of all, despite the movie's innocent fairy tale character, it isn't coy about adult themes at all (like all good fairy tales, for that matter). We actually even have scenes of violence and nudity, but both are introduced in a very playful and witty manner; in a style which I should consider perfectly suitable for children.

Secondly, "Tuvalu" is hilariously funny, and at times, the humour is pretty far from being tongue-in-cheek... There is a lot of crude slapstick going on, and sometimes the whole movie is close to the coarseness of a Punch and Judy show; but most of the time one just laughs at the sheer originality and inventiveness of the production. Furthermore, the sparse use of words proves to be a great means of comedy as well - the effect is somewhat comparable to the quasi-absence of comprehensible language in Jacques Tati's films, or, for those who have seen it, in "Themroc".

Thirdly, there is always joy in watching talented and charismatic actors under the direction of a talented director and screenwiter. You can tell that everyone involved in the making was perfectly devoted to the project; and this justified euphoria of the makers comes across in almost every scene. They probably knew that they were doing something special, and this is indeed what they have achieved. Additionally, Helmer's use of light and colour is always original, but never distracting; every scene of this movie is simply beautiful to look at. Yes, I should say, imagination is a wonderful thing and it is an utter shame that we can't be children forever.


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