A very nice film by Serbian Director Emir Kusturica “Time of the Gypsies” is a 1988 Yugoslav film. Made in Romani and Serbian- Just a simple story on the backdrop of Gypsies tell the story of a young Romani man with magical powers who is tricked into engaging in petty crime. It is widely considered to be one of Kusturica’s best films.
Filmed in Sarajevo, a must watch film. The story centers around Perhan, a young Romani Gypsy who has inherited telekinetic powers. He lives with his grandmother, a gifted healer; his little sister, who is physically handicapped; and his uncle, a ne’er-do-well gambler, hopelessly in debt to the local thugs. They live together in a little house on the outskirts of Sarajevo, surrounded by the Gypsy community that is the focus of their lives.
Time of the Gypsies is the sort of film I wish was made more often. The film is an absolute breath of fresh air, and one I’d have no trouble recommending to anyone with a taste for truly great cinema.
If you’ve ever visited Europe, especially any city in the Mediterranean, then you might have crossed kids and women dressed colorfully, begging or trying to sell you carnations. Some of them impress you with their beauty or with their music or sell something ornamental…… You might feel pity for these gypsies and give them some money, or you might simply avoid them without a second thought. So is their life and regardless, the gypsy world is defined by a close society, a unique culture, customs and a distinguished way of living. In reality we know very little about them and how they live, we might have a vague image but it’s hard to say precisely.
A great effort from the director Kusturic for selecting this theme and made it brilliantly interlacing human emotions of this unknown people and their unknown existence. The film is the story of a young orphan boy named Perhan, who lives with his lame sister under their grandmother’s supervision. Perhan is a teenage boy, who would love to ‘escape’ from his reality, marry the love of his life and start a new and honest life – away from all these that surround him. But when is life that easy? As soon as he realises that his family won’t allow him to marry the woman he loves and after being betrayed by his brother, uncle and basically everyone he knows… He starts to join the dots, coming to the realization that he has to become really powerful, really wealthy to do whatever he wants. In order for this to happen, Perhan embraces the way of life that he’d always wanted to avoid. He starts stealing and organizing scams.
Time of the Gypsies is not an easy movie to watch, it’s quite violent and in-your-face. However, it is directed in a way that manages to combine brutality with lyricism. The soundtrack of the film, composed by Goran Bregović, accompanies the plot perfectly, while the scenery creates some of the most beautiful images that I have ever seen in a movie. If this was a book, I would say that it belongs within the movement of magic realism. The input of the supernatural (Perhan has telekinetic powers, the floating bride) creates a dramatic but palpable atmosphere that captivates the viewer
Emir Kusturica won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival. No doubt it’s a film that you will always be able to recall once you watch it. Its strong colorful images and its aesthetics are so powerful that you can’t forget. It’s quite the opposite of what we are used to. In Time of the Gypsies, fate dominates, it shows us that sometimes destiny is so strong that you can’t escape, no matter what you do — and unfortunately in this case it doesn’t even skip a generation.
The rare glimpse into the Romani Gypsy culture is enough to make this film interesting, but the story is so compelling, the cinematography so excellent and the characters so fascinating, that it takes on the proportions of a major work of film.
It’s not only great to watch, it also delivers a highly poetic statement about all fundamental things in life- love, guilt, death and revenge……..remarkable
- Written & Directed by Emir Kusturica
- Produced by Mirza Pašić & Harry Saltzman
- Casting: Davor Dujmović; Bora Todorović & Ljubica Adžović
- Music by Goran Bregović
- Cinematography by Vilko Filač
- Editing by Andrija Zafranović
- Distributed by Columbia Pictures
- Release dates 21 December 1988
- Run time of 139 minutes
- Country : United Kingdom; Italy & Yugoslavia
- Language: Romani; Serbian & Italian