An intense, compelling drama following a day in the life of an underclass Romani family, set against the background of a series of racist attacks on their community. Winner of the Jury Grand Prix, Berlin Film Festival 2012.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2012
Picking up the Jury Grand Prix at Berlin and judiciously avoiding every cliché of ‘gypsy life’, this rigorously absorbing drama follows a day in the life of an underclass Romani family: a hard-working mother, her studious teenage daughter, and younger son who, unsupervised, skips school. All three are haunted by the spectre of a series of racist attacks on nearby villages. Small details give a compelling sense of the dread faced by the characters, all superbly played by non-professionals from the Romani community: the casual racism the mother faces on her cleaning job; the squeal of a runaway pig, the only survivor from a previous attack; the daughter chillingly Googling ‘gypsy murders’ on the school computer. Using a roving camera to closely follow the family through their day, director Bence Fliegauf (formerly known as Benedek) recalls the intense urgency of films like The Death of Mr Lazarescu and Elephant, as well as his own Dealer. — MM