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Time of the Gypsies
(Dom za Vesanje)

Yugoslavia - 1989
Directed by Emir Kusturica

Time of the Gypsies


Filmed in Sarajevo, this is a film everyone should see .... twice.     The story centers around Perhan, a young Romany 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.

Perhan is tricked into traveling to Italy with Ahmed, a local Gypsy lord.  Ahmed traffics in everything from selling babies to pimping. Perhan is forced to lead the life of a petty criminal while, back in Sarajevo, his grandmother has promised to look after Azra, his fiancée.  Ahmed promises that he's sending money back to Sarajevo each month, to be put towards the costs of the new home he is having built for Perhan and his fiancée.  When Perhan returns home, he discovers that there is no house being built, that his fiancée is now pregnant with what may be his uncle's baby, and, most tragically, that his little sister, thought to be receiving medical treatment, has in fact been forced to beg in the streets to survive.  These revelations change Perhan's heart irrecoverably and he sets out on a mission to destroy Ahmed and find his sister.

The rare glimpse into the Romany 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.  Emir Kusturica won the award for Best Director from the Cannes Film Festival for Time of the Gypsies (1989).  We cannot recall any film delivering so much of that which we all watch foreign films for.  Remember, we recommend that it be watched twice, in order to absorb the ambience.

Runtime:  142 minutes


Guest Comments

From:  "Geoffrey Myers"

"Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies is more than a film. It is an obsession that must be revisited. It is an unfulfilled dream will not release you drawing you back into Perhan's world so that you may try again to rectify it."


From:  "Mick"

"This movie is absolutely brilliant. I guess everybody could find there something exciting and wise. I love the wonderful world of Emir Kusturica's movies."


From:  "Patricia"

"Es una de las películas más geniales que he visto. La música es realmente hermosa; el director la hace protagonista del film."


From:  "Shtirlits"

"Time of the Gypsies must be the most beautiful film ever made.
Watching this film is a cinematic equivalent of a profound religious experience."


From:  "Cre"

"Does everyone else like this movie? I thought it was ugly... the colors were drab and unappetizing. There was only one beautiful scene in it, a dream sequence with Perhan and Azra at the river. I thought that the characters were all foolish or willfully stupid or just plain weak. I didn't find the plot believable, and it wasn't the magical realism that threw me. It was the sheer stupidity of it-I would assume that a magical grandmother healer woman type would have more sense than to send her idiot grandson off to the big city with a sleaze bag, for starters. The film wasn't even funny, and I had the impression it was trying for dark comedy. Kusturica did a much better job with ""Underground."


From:  "James Fletcher"

"The Time of the gypsies was a superb film. The story is facinating and it gives the viewer a strong insight into the Romani ways of life. The acting is strong and all the actors create their characters in their own special way. Inclosing this is a film that you should watch more then once. The directing is perfect, and there are also some great camera shots."


From:  "Iossif Wassarionowitsch Stalin"

"With "Time of the Gypsies" Kusturica delivered one of the most visually stunning and unique films of all times. 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."


From:  "Rob"

"What a terrific film! ","Time of the Gypsies" is profoundly sad, yet emminently entertaining.  Paradoxical to the subject matter, perhaps, but, wow! Beautiful!  The connection to the turkey, touching."


From: "Liz Provost,  NJ"

"One of the most unforgettably hypnotic and touching films I've ever seen - a must-see for sophisticated film buffs !"


From: "Alex Sussley"

"Not only was this one of the greatest films I have ever seen, but it gave me the kind of feeling I only get
when I watch other great films like "The Wanderers", "A Clockwork Orange", "Altered States", "Les Vasseulles",
"Rappaccini's Daughter","Cabeza de Vaca", etc. Also, to this day I have never seen a better made dream sequence in a
movie that feels so real. "

 

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