Time of the Gypsies

The Cast Receives Applause (Kusturica in the center)

Last night I got the chance to see Bosnian Serb film director, Emir Kusturica’s “punk opera” Time of the Gypsies.” The opera is based on his 1988 movie by the same name. It is a story about the Roma community and follows the lives of two gypsy orphans living with their grandmother in the ex-Yugoslavia and a criminal gypsy living in Italy. It was a very good movie and I really enjoyed the show last night. I am glad I watched most of the movie before attending the show so I could follow along with what was happening. The libretto was in a Roma dialect with Serbian subtitles. My Serbian is at the point where I can recognize 2-3 words per sentence and can kind of put ideas together.

I liked the music. It was a combination of classical music, gypsy folk music, and rock – all live music with the musicians down in the pit. The scenery and props were visually stimulating – a great night out. I would like to thank LJ for the tickets!!!!

The Final Scene - With the Milan Cathedral in the Background

You can read the New York Times review of the opera. I got a bit burned out on magic realism while living in Latin America, but it is a good story nonetheless. The Roma are fascinating to me and the movie gives a bit of insight into their world. Kusturica is a very interesting fellow and I highly recommend seeing the opera or any of his movies if you get the chance. It was a full house at the “communist science fiction” styled Sava Centar, and this was the fifth night of the performance.

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