24 January 2004 | tezzzaaa
refreshing and gripping portrait of social outcasts
Les princes is the debut movie of the director of succesful gypsy movies such as gadjo dilo and vengo, which focus mostly on music. Les princes paints a portrait of a father, daughter and grandmother living in an almost abandoned and decaying outskirt of paris, where, surprisingly enough, the gendarmes still find it necessary to bother people and house owners still dare to evict people living in these dumps. The tone is desperate at times, showing the immense inequality and racism gypsies are faced with, but it also exposes subtly the incompatibilities and inability of the two sides to understand and respect each other more. That made this movie on gypsy life stand out, neither romanticising nor revealing anything. Inevitably in a movie on gypsies, there was lots of humor as well, showing how stupidity and ignorance can prevail among the gadje, but also making fun and affirming stereotypes on gypsies, like their renowned talent for stealing. All this still left enough space for the nostalgia and tragedy that are also entangled in gypsy music and legends.