• Golden Globe Awards

Luxembourg, Luxembourg (Ukraine)

The Ukrainian film Luxembourg, Luxembourg by Antonio Lukich premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival in the Horizonti competition and is one of the few films from the country that doesn’t touch on the ongoing Russian invasion. Lukich’s sophomore film is a look at the complicated relationship between men within a family, but not without moments of levity and humor.
The sentimental story of twin brothers, Kolya and Vasya, starts with a teasing introduction: “For some reason, all boys look for trouble.” The two mischievous boys with raven black hair only have their looks in common. In personality, they’re as different as can be. No wonder that later their paths diverge: one works as a police officer while the other deals drugs in their small hometown. The brothers set aside their differences in order to search for their former kingpin-absent father in Luxembourg after learning about his terminal illness.
After the screening, the Q&A with the director and two lead actors, twin brothers Amil and Ramil Nasirov, proved to be a particularly illuminating conversation about Ukraine’s budding film industry. However, the twin brothers’ claim to fame is through their joint rap duo and were even recognized as “faces of the future” in the Ukrainian Forbes’ Thirty Under Thirty list in 2022.
“It is very good to be a director because you can transfer any life tragedy to the screen. I think that each of us loves and hates our parents at the same time, so this is exactly the kind of internal dialogue I had inside me,” said Lukich. His film is semi-autobiographical, as his own father similarly abandoned him early in life. He also spoke about the significance of the film’s title, saying “The twins are why the film is called Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Otherwise, the film would probably be called In Search of a Bad Father.”
When asked about how the twins approached their respective roles, Amil explained that they spoke for a long time with Lukich the night before the first day of shooting. “Antonio admitted to us that this was his own story. And then we realized that we have a very big responsibility. It is necessary to show people all his experiences, which he put into this film.” Ramil added that it was really easy for them to work with Lukich, noting, “It was very easy for us to communicate because we were friends outside the camera. We have a lot in common. We love football. And we talked even more about football than about the movie. Therefore, it was very easy for us to work.”
Lukich acknowledged that it’s difficult to talk about humor during the ongoing humanitarian crisis, but added that “Sometimes, it is easier to reach people’s hearts through humor. The theme of this film is still relevant today, namely, the theme of the generation of absent parents. We showed the lives of boys who are constantly trying to find this father who is not there. In fact, this is an attempt to find the Creator.”