• Tributes

Germany / 1999 / N/A / 101 min

  • Director 

    Veit Helmer

  • Producer: 

    Veit Helmer


    Veit Helmer, Michaela Beck

  • Photography: 

    Emil Hristow

  • Cast: 

    Denis Lavant, Chulpan Khamatova, Philippe Clay



German director's Veit Helmer debut film reveals his singular talent at combining fairy tail tradition with winks to silent film, thus creating a powerful, novel, and contemporary blend. In this movie, where everything seems like something out of a dream, Anton (Denis Lavant), insists on keeping the illusions of his father, an old blind man fascinated with an old swimming pool, alive. The contrast with Gregor, the old man's other son, could not be more pronounced. Anton is an idealist and a dreamer, whereas Gregor is ambitious and cynical. Helmer creates sharp personalities and archetypes that are placed in a colorless, desolate world, where the only possible exit seems to be a place called Tuvalu. Anton is accompanied by a surreal group of old men who fight alongside him to keep the swimming pool business afloat, as well as Eva, a woman with whom he falls unconditionally in love. In this wordless fable, Lavant's enormous range of physical and emotional expression takes the film and brings it closer to myth, to those profound truths and strengths of humanity that bubble up wordlessly.



Veit Helmer

Veit Helmer

Helmer has been making films since was 14. He studied film direction at the University of Television and Film in Munich. He co-wrote A Trick of Light (1995) with Wim Wenders. Tuvalu participated in 62 festivals and won over 30 international prizes. His other titles include Absurdistan (2008) and Gate to Heaven (2003).