Luna Park (1992)




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Andrei is buff, he is muscular, he is ready to bash heads whenever and wherever his much-worshipped mother directs, and his gang is similarly buff, similarly ready to follow the lead of Andre's mother. He has lived a life of competition and conflict with true Russian heroes like his father, who he believed died in Afghanistan, and enemies like Jews and foreigners. For him, after his lounge-singing mother, the muscular movie-star Arnold Schwarzenegger is a god. His mother is a piece of work, using her incestuous relationship with her son to motivate him to go off on rampages to satisfy her bile against all "non-Russians." One day she gets drunk and reveals that Andrei's father is not the soldier he always thought he was, but a Jewish composer and conductor. Thinking she has fashioned her son into the perfect instrument for revenge, she tells him how his father seduced her (making her pregnant) and then did not cast her as a singer for an important role, which blighted her career after that. When Andrei looks up his newly revealed father, he finds an impoverished, gentle man who lives in such chaos that a few new holes in the wall, put there in an anti-Semitic rage by the boy, have no effect on him. Instead, he is proud of his newfound son. Before long, the charms of gentleness and civility have won him over, and he realizes that he must protect his father against his mother and his former gang, still loyal to her wishes. In a film-making note, industry insiders said that many of the skinheads in the gangs in this movie were the genuine article, which lent a specially chilling realism to their anti-everybody performances. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi


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