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Transylvania

Authentic, but bumbling
By GERALD PEARY  |  January 16, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
transylvaniainside
Birol Ünel and Asia Argento

As in his most popular film, Gadjo Dilo (1997), the half-Roma director Tony Gatlif tells of a Western European arriving in rural, impoverished Romania in search of an elusive Gypsy. Here, the seeker is a lovestruck pregnant young woman, Zingarina (Asia Argento), whose Gypsy lover, a pianist, was deported from France and now has disappeared. The superior part of Transylvania is the first section, when Zingarina’s quest takes her to subterranean music haunts, and where the authentic Roma singing and dancing is exhilarating. But after she falls out with her callous boyfriend, she stumbles and the movie stumbles, and Transylvania becomes a meandering, indulgent road movie. As Gatlin’s masochistic heroine takes to the Romanian highways and slowly exorcises her pain, you wish she’d go home so you can go home. French + Hungarian + English + Romanian + Italian | 106 minutes | Museum of Fine Arts: January 24-27 + 31
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