“No water, no sex.” Whereas the women in Aristophanes’ classic Greek comedy Lysistrata withheld sex from their men to end a war, the women in the village of Absurdistan concoct a similar plan out of necessity in order to get their community’s water pipe fixed. However, unlike the women of Lysistrata, the results of their decision don’t end a war but rather begin one of epic proportions between the sexes complete with the usual devices of espionage, sabotage and tested loyalties.

For Absurdistan, director Veit Helmer’s allegorically absurdist, unusual comedy employs cinematic techniques utilized in Jeunet’s Amelie and Gorris’ Antonia’s Line. Along the way, Helmer balances the broad comedy of the piece with a sweet tale of youthful love among Aya and Temelko, who, born on the same day, have been destined for one another’s arms their entire lives. But will their village’s feud end soon enough for them to finally come together? For the answer, we’ll have to look—not to the stars—but to the water.

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