Archives / 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Luna Papa

Director: Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov

Screenwriters: Irakli Kwirikadze

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival

Description

In a masterful and entertaining weave of fantasy and action, poetry and adventure, tragedy and boisterous humor, Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov relates the story of the beautiful young Mamlakat, who dreams of Shakespeare, an acting career, and escape from her obscure and dusty village of Far-Khar, lost somewhere between Samarkand and the desolate shores of the Caspian Sea. But the fickle hand of fate touches her, and a rape which she remembers as a romantic moonlight seduction leaves her pregnant and desperate, with no idea of the identity of the cowardly inseminator. After a failed abortion attempt, she breaks the news to her father, setting in motion a madcap quest to restore the family honor. Father, daughter, and crazy brother set out to find the culprit, crossing a land wilder than the Wild West, where Soviet authority has given way to a lawless chaos of bandits and militias. Misadventure follows misadventure, and surprise is the order of the day. The fast-paced and entertaining action of the film’s plot alternates with the soft and poetic voice of Kabibullah, the eventual fruit of Mamlakat’s swelling belly. Bringing a child’s perspective and innocent humor to a maelstrom of adult events, he urges his mother on, shares her joys and disappointments, and comforts her distress. Artfully combining the absurd, the surreal, and the comic with the poignant and tragic, Luna Papa is a brilliantly executed film about fate, love, and escape from an impossible reality.

— Nicole Guillemet

Screening Details

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