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.

By: WH


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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