The District!


As hyperactively profane as the ‘toon lunacy of MTV’s Liquid Television and Spike & Mike’s traveling screen tours, Á Gauder’s animated Hungarian ghetto hip-hop musical and star-crossed teen romance is not, as its ads might infer, an Eastern European South Park. If we must: Think West Side Story grafted over Team America: World Police, substituting puppets for photorealistic cut-and-paste heads on illustrated bodies, unnervingly posed in grimy 3D space. Eye-popping as The District! is, the overarching geopolitical satire is a haphazardly lobbed grenade too dim-witted to be explosive. Having borrowed a nuke from young Abdul’s uncle who hides in the basement (Osama bin Laden!), a mischievous street gang on a quest for “money, money, and pussy” during Hungary’s post-EU transition builds a time machine to slaughter and bury prehistoric mammoths, returning to the present to get filthy rich off their oil. There Will Be Audaciousness, if little else that translates for anyone over the age of amused-by-cartoon-titties, but how can you not admire a goof whose supporting cast of hustlers and singing hookers from Budapest’s rough-and-tumble quarters are the good guys to Dubya’s villainous warmonger?

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