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warded the Special Jury Prize at the 41st Venice International Film Festival, this absurdist comedy, with its sprawling cast of crooks, thieves, anarchists, prostitutes, chief inspectors, art dealers, and inventors, calls to mind the bustling tapestries of Robert Altman. The story revolves around two objects, a rare set of 18th-century Limoges china, and a 19th century aristocratic portrait. As these items are passed, sold, or stolen from one character to another, a giddy round dance of excess begins to take shape, one which suggests that if history doesn't repeat itself, it certainly rhymes. Together with co-writer Gérard Brach, whose other co-writing credits include Repulsion and Tess, Otar Iosseliani uses a feather-light touch to expose the futility of class and social order, making a bagatelle of the concerns of rich and poor alike.

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