Luna Papa

[Лунный папа]

(1999) Austria/Germany/Russia/Switzerland/France

Directed by Bakhtier Khudoinazarov

Written by Irakli Kvirikadze. Cinematography by Rostislav Pirumov, Art direction by Negmat Dzhuraev. With Chulpan Khamatova, Moritz Bleibtreu, Ato Mukhamedzhanov, and Nikolai Fomenko.

In a small village not far from Samarkand, seventeen-year-old Mamlakat dreams of becoming an actress. One moonlit night she is seduced by a mysterious stranger, who claims to be a friend of Tom Cruise. He then disappears, leaving Mamlakat pregnant.
For her father Safar [a widower] and brother Nasreddin [traumatized forever by the Afghanistan war] restoring family honor is a question of honor and respect for traditional codes—Mamlakat must either find the father or be banished from the village.
From inside the womb, Khabibulla, who was conceived on that miraculous night, provides a commentary on the incredible adventures and bizarre mishaps that befall the threesome in their quest of the absent father.
— adaptation of NTV–Profit website synopsis

According to scriptwriter (and director—The Swimmer [1981] and Comrade Stalin's Journey to Africa [1991]) Irakli Kvirikadze, the basis of the story lies in an old Georgian folktale. The decision to shift the locale to Central Asia was motivated in part by the stark contradiction between the current political chaos and return to feudal socio-political structures, on the one hand, and the strong hold that cultural traditions retain over individuals, on the other
Closure was the single most difficult task confronting the director and scriptwriter during the filming of Luna Papa. Again, according to Kvirikadze, he rewrote the ending almost a dozen times, trying various combinations and resolutions. Several of these endings were shot and the final decisions were made only on the editing table.

Bakhtier Khudoinazarov

Bakhtier Khudoinazarov photo

Bakhtier Khudoinazarov was born in Dushanbe, the capital of Tadjikistan, in 1965. After graduating from the film directing section of the State Institute for Filmmaking (VGIK) in 1989 (Igor' Talankin's Master Workshop), he worked for several years as an assistant director at Tadjikfil'm Studios and as a radio announcer. He currently divides his time between Moscow and Berlin.

1985 The Pranksters (short)
1986 The Gambler (short)
1989 Believe It or Not (short)
1991 Bro
1993 Kosh ba kosh
1999 Luna Papa
2002 The Suit

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