Tony Gatlif :: France :: 2005 :: 1h43
Zingarina, who so desperately needs love, leaves Paris and ends up in the heart of Romania with her girlfriend Marie, only to find rejection. Probably out of love, but that does not change anything. Zingarina feels completely alone in the world. She rejects her best friend and is taken along with the tide. In an orgy of music, she is swept along in a world foreign but concrete, hostile but warm, cheerful but unhappy.
A curious mixture of sentiments overwhelm you as you travel along with Zingarina in a timeless Europe which seems so close, yet far away from an urban perspective. On the one hand you are confronted with the anchorless character who rejects as the consequence of rejection, and on the other, you have the life-line of music as the harmonizing force of society. The contemporary urbanite does not loose the other as easily, through an overkill of technology and bureaucratic life-style hindrance. As for the latter, music, it is ever present through iPods and nightlife, but it is much less ‘just there’ as it is in this film.
Watching Transylvania is transporting yourself into another version of reality, one which is both close and removed from (urban-dwelling) experience. An impressive feat by director Gatlif who set the tone with Exiles. The strong bond of Exiles, however, is somewhat lost in the mystery of the characters here, leaving their unpredictability unanswered. The characters could have been more developed, which distracts from a challenging and charismatic film. But do not let the down-side haunt you, watch for its strengths and the chance of an excursion into the always mysterious yet down-to-earth life of Transylvania.