The Shutka Book of Records

Sandra Ristovska is a filmmaker and a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mystics cavort with goofballs in this wily documentary about the Shutka neighborhood of Skopje, Macedonia, the largest Romani (“Gypsy”) quarter in Europe. Everyone here is the proud champion of something-residents boast of their fighting geese, music collections, and vampire hunting fetes-but melancholy loiters amidst the dervishes and wheeler-dealers. This deceptively lighthearted film delves into the idiosyncrasies of daily life in a large Romani ghetto and brings to light the persecution of Europe's largest transnational minority. Variously called madcap and mocking by critics, this alluring film exposes the isolation skulking behind every wide smile and strut.

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