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Absurdistan (Germany, 2008) 

Director Veit Helmer (Tuvalu) creates a storybook world of sorts in this film about two young lovers who live in a remote part of the Soviet Union where a rusty pipeline has stopped delivering much-needed water. In order to get the lazy men to fix it, the women start withholding sex, and it’s only young Temelko (Max Mauff) who takes it upon himself to fix the damn thing. An extra incentive is that his childhood friend and potential lover Aya (Kristyna Malérová) promises to consummate their relationship if he can find the broken pipe and repair it within a week’s time. Helmer’s film has a terrific magical quality to it and brilliantly mixes the tragic with the comic. Malérová and Mauff are also great as a couple whose childhood friendship blossoms into a true romance. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, and 9:25 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7. HHH1/2

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