Time of the Gypsies


Time Out says

This remarkable tragic-comic drama, set in a Yugoslavian gypsy community, is hard to take seriously at first. Perhan, the bastard boy hero, seems a clichéd victim figure - patched spectacles, gormless face - wandering the noisy shantytown like a holy fool. His grandmother has healing powers; Perhan is telekinetic, and spends his time moving spoons up walls. Too poor to marry his beloved Azra, Perhan is taken to Italy by the 'Sheik', ostensibly to obtain a leg operation for his crippled sister, but in fact as part of the child-selling Sheik's business, to learn 'traditional' skills - pimping, begging, stealing - on the streets of Milan. His sad getting-of-wisdom is a long haul, but executed at breakneck pace, trilling with music, drama, tears and wry humour. The film has an eclectic look: an off-the-hip semi-documentary style, punctuated with Paradjanov-style miraculous imagery. Anchoring it to reality are the stunning performances by a cast of mostly illiterate Romany non-professionals, its precise observation of gypsy life, and its immense humanity. Astonishing and deeply moving.


Release details

142 mins

Cast and crew

Emir Kusturica
Emir Kusturica, Gordan Mihac
Davor Dujmovic
Bora Todorovic
Ljubica Adzovic
Husnija Hasmovic
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