The District (Atopia)

Video and DVD

Jan 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm
The District

2005, Unrated

Pimps, whores, drunks, gangsters, terrorists, corrupt cops and even corrupter politicians rap, dance, fight, cuss, fuck and steal throughout The District — a wild Hungarian Hip Hop animated feature. Essentially a skewed Romeo and Juliet transplanted to a crime and violence-ridden Budapest ghetto, the film follows two young lovers who devise with friends a scheme to distract their feuding families. The plan? Create a time machine, travel back a billion years, kill and bury a ton of woolly mammoths, zip back to the present, mine the oil resultant from the decayed animals and profit hand-over-fist.

Ludicrous, but it works. Almost. Instead of reconciliations, the new wealth feeds the greed flames and draws the attentions of Bush, Blair, Putin, the Pope and more. The District bills itself as a "Hungarian South Park," and while there are similarities, this is misleading. Both deal with contemporary political, social, cultural and sexual events and themes with take-no-prisoners bravura, but where South Park is clever, The District clubs viewers over the head with the obvious. The film's true triumph is the animation — an incredibly fresh mix of mediums both hand-drawn and computer generated that places odd-shaped, shockingly expressive, two-dimensional cut-out characters over deep, dense re-creations of Eastern European urban decay. Grade: B+