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‘Luxembourg, Luxembourg’ Review: A Fast-Paced, Funny Ukrainian Dramedy About Frayed Family Ties

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Jessica Kiang In a time of war, laughter — even of the wryest kind — can feel like an unpardonable luxury. And if Ukrainian director Antonio Lukich’s delightfully droll “Luxembourg Luxembourg” were even a little more flippant, and didn’t cut its comedic antics with an equal dose of melancholic wisdom, perhaps there would be some guilt attached to enjoying it so much.

But with his second feature, an expansion of ambition after his wonkily wistful debut, “My Thoughts Are Silent,” Lukich hasn’t just made a slice of much-needed escapism.

In the sincerity of its sentimentality and its humane, universal observations around absent fathers, errant sons and estranged brothers, the movie not only earns us the right to laugh during a period of suffering and conflict, it makes sharing in the warmth of its sweet-natured humor seem like a vital, revivifying act of resistance.

There’s a scuzzy-Scorsese vibe to the film’s propulsive, boisterous ’90s-set opening as Kolya and Vasya (Adrian and Damian Suleiman), identical twin boys getting into trouble the way boys do, scramble around the train yards of Lubny, the central Ukrainian city they call home.

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