The District

According to what is hailed as Hungary’s answer to South Park, Osama Bin Laden lives in a Budapest sewer; if you do enough hallucinogenics, you might be inclined to believe this sordid tale. God knows I do.

Aron Gauder’s animated feature, The District, has won numerous awards at festivals around the world, and he deserves the fame and the glory. His film is a delight to the senses: it is beautiful to look at, irreverent and in-your-face, charming and entertaining. It is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set to a Hungarian hip hop soundtrack. The story follows a boy and a girl from two warring families who want nothing more than to be free to love one another.

Teenaged Richie, the youngest son of the drug dealing Lakatos clan, does his best to win the heart of Jules, the sweetest girl in Budapest’s tough “District” and the pride of the Csorba family. The young boy aimlessly attempts to grow rich, impress the girl’s father, and become a force to be reckoned with in his scummy neighbourhood; when his posse discover a way to travel back in time, bury mammoths, and set themselves up as modern-day oil barons, Richie’s efforts draw unwanted attention from international powers such as the U.S. government, and Russian double agents masquerading as hookers. Or is it the other way around?

The film’s characters are completely unbelievable, the action is a fast paced roller coaster, the story is outrageous, all over the place, and the animation is absolutely gorgeous. The songs are well written, clever, and witty, making The District an unusual treat, a delightful, exotic piece of eye candy.

Bite into it, and enjoy the wild ride. (Andree Lachapelle)

Dir. Aron Gauder