Gadjo Dilo (crazy Stranger)

on August 07, 1998 by Melissa Morrison
The third installment in Tony Gatlif's Gypsy Trilogy ("Latcho Drom," "Mondo") likewise features an unusual glimpse into a famously inscrutable culture. Stephane (Romain Duris), a young French music lover, is in Romania to track down a Gypsy singer and is adopted by Izador (Izador Serban) into the local community.
   Stephan e's a firsthand observer of oppression by Rumanian villagers, and of Gypsy customs-the curses are especially colorful--and contradictions. The Gypsies' attitudes (as portrayed by Gatlif at least) are by turns endearing and disgusting, which gives "Gadjo Dilo" an air of truth-telling.
   What detracts from this air is the movie-star glamour exuded by Duris--he's a Paris Match coverboy, despite his scruffy-traveler's costume--and Rona Hartner, playing a sexy Gypsy rebel, who looks like a dusky-skinned Kate Winslet.
   Serban, on the other hand, is striking and original, whether exuberantly drunk or keening over a dead friend. Starring Romain Duris and Rona Hartner. Directed and written by Tony Gatlif. Produced by Guy Marignane. A Lions Gate release. Drama. English-, French- and Romany-language; subtitled. Not rated. Running time: 100 min.
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