Dir: Marko Nabersnik
By Matej Vujasinovic
“If you are asking a lot from life, then life takes what you had from you. Only when you lose everything, you recognize what you actually liked”
Shanghai Gypsy is about free soul gypsy Lutvija Belmondo Mirga, who is the story teller behind the film. The film has many loud, colorful characters representing gypsy culture, their free spirit and their dreams.
The story begins with Lutvijas father named Ujas who didn’t feel like belonging to normal gypsy community, he believed he was something more than them, but the community didn’t accept that and he decided to leave them. However Ujas eventually comes back as a rich, proud man and leaves big impact on Lutvija.
Lutvija starts to help with his father’s business and learns from him. At the same time he starts to dream of his future, he dreams of having a beautiful wife, lots of kids and living in a beautiful city. But as he still feels belonging to gypsy culture and doesn’t really feel like moving he decides to establish his own village in Slovenia named Shanghai after the Chinese town he heard a lot of wonderful stories about.
The most expensive Slovenian film ever made is however a lot more than just a gypsy love story. Once Belmondo succeeds in having family and his own village, he wants more. It starts with a smaller things like, bringing electricity to the city. But he never really is fully satisfied and is turning into a greedy man. He starts to do strange business and find a good opportunity for getting money when Yugoslavia civil war occurs to sell weapons. His son becomes drug addict and his life turns around. But… This is not the end. Does Lutvija Belmondo success in being free traveller again or does he completely turn into a godfather of his village. See a film and find it out on your own.
The award-winner film of Montreal World Film Festival for best screenplay is revealing a lot of gypsy culture that is present in all the Balkans. The whole film is in a Gypsy, not Slovenian language for even better taste of the culture. A lot of gypsies are still living without electricity and even refuse to have it. While minority of them civilized with their kids finally visiting school and getting educated.