National Bomb

Nutty Azerbaijani laffer "National Bomb" takes a good-humored, satirical swipe at local economic straits through a story of struggling filmmakers going to ridiculous lengths to finance their pic. Written and helmed by Vagif Musta-fayev ("The Scoundrel"), arguably the country's pre-eminent filmer, this scrappy but amusing pic could set off, if not bangs, at least more than whimpers on the fest and repertory circuit, given its moviemaking theme.

With:
With: Avtandil Makharadze, Yashar Nuri, Saida Kulieva, Nuriya Ahmedova.

Nutty Azerbaijani laffer “National Bomb” takes a good-humored, satirical swipe at local economic straits through a story of struggling filmmakers going to ridiculous lengths to finance their pic. Written and helmed by Vagif Musta-fayev (“The Scoundrel”), arguably the country’s pre-eminent filmer, this scrappy but amusing pic could set off, if not bangs, at least more than whimpers on the fest and repertory circuit, given its moviemaking theme.

In capital city Baku, eminent editor Yusef Abranov (Mustafayev regular Avtandil Makharadze) and director Mehmet (Yashar Nuri) are determined to get their latest movie made by any means necessary, after being shut down by the bankrupt national studio. Following various schemes, the only way left to raise the cash is to marry off Yusef’s son to the daughter of the rich guy who’s bought Yusef’s bizarre, mirror-filled house. Title comes from a minor subplot about an inventor devising a bomb that will only kill Azerbaijanis, thereby avoiding international censure. Mustafayev displays a typically Central Asian flair for comic absurdity with a blackish tinge, though much of the humor is lost in translation. Tech credits are fine.

National Bomb

Azerbaijan-Russia

Production: An Azerbaijan Ministry of Culture (Azerbaijan)/Centre SCIP-Film (Russia) production. (International sales: Cen-tre SCIP-Film, Moscow.) Produced by Valery Ruzin. Directed, written by Vagif Mustafayev.

Crew: Camera (color), Dgimsher Kristesashvili, Lomer Ahvlediani; music, Giya Kancheli. Reviewed at Moscow Film Festival (competing), June 21, 2004. Original Russian title: Natsionalnaya bomba. Russian, Azerbaijani dialogue. Running time: 102 MIN.

With: With: Avtandil Makharadze, Yashar Nuri, Saida Kulieva, Nuriya Ahmedova.

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