Director Emir Kusturica’s Time of the Gypsies, which has won 20 awards at international festivals, is the first and only film in “Gypsy” in the world, and which Goran Bregovic has turned into a masterpiece with its unique music, is one of the unforgettable productions. Released in 1988, the film is in the drama/fantasy genre and won the Best Director Award at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Davor Dujmovic as Perhan, Ljubica Adzovic as Perhan’s grandmother Khaditza, Sinolicka Trpkova as Azra, Bora Todorovic as Ahmed and Husnija Hasimovic as Perhan’s uncle Merdzan.
The movie starts with Perhan’s life. Perhan is a teenage gypsy who lives with her grandmother, sister and uncle. Since he lost his mother at a young age, his grandmother became his whole world. Perhan has a very special place for her grandmother. She has some powers of her own. Only her granddaughter Perhan has these powers besides her grandmother. Perhan can move some objects with his eyes. He also makes and sells lime with his grandmother. Apart from these jobs, she also takes care of her sister. Because her sister Danira is unable to walk fully due to leg problems. His uncle Merdzan’s gambling, money-grubbing, womanizing behavior constantly gets the family into trouble. Apart from that, the family’s gypsy world, music and dreams are enough to make them happy.
However, there is one more person who is important to Perhan, Azra. Perhan wants to marry Azra. However, Azra’s mother does not allow this. Because Perhan has neither a house nor a job. Perhan wants to become rich with the fire of his love. So he will buy a house, have his brother’s leg operated on and be able to live with his grandmother, Azra and his brother. Sheikh Ahmed, a rich man from Italy, comes to the village at a time when Perhan is looking for a job. However, Sheikh Ahmed’s son falls ill. In return, the grandmother who heals him with her special power asks Sheikh Ahmed to take his grandson to the city and have him operated on. Thus, Perhan, who wants to leave Danira and her brother alone, sets off with Sheikh Ahmed. With tears in her eyes, the grandmother sees her grandchildren off with the candy apples she has prepared. Before leaving, Perhan goes to Azra and tells her to wait for me. I will come back and perform our wedding.
Perhan takes her brother to the hospital with Ahmed. She then starts working for Ahmed as she needs to earn money. However, Ahmed is after mafia business. He buys and sells children, markets women and makes children beg. Perhan endures this situation for only one thing: To save money and live with her loved ones. When months pass, Perhan returns in the back seat of the same car she left in the trunk. But it is no longer the old Perhan. When he arrives, he finds Azra pregnant and his whole world falls apart. Even though his grandmother and Azra tell him that the child is his, Perhan does not believe them. He learns about his uncle’s rape of Azra and cannot accept the child. When his grandmother talks to Perhan, she asks him why he doesn’t believe Azra. Perhan says, “I haven’t believed anyone since I started lying”. This change in Perhan upsets the grandmother. Perhan marries Azra anyway. She will sell the child to Ahmed and have another child with Azra. However, even though Azra says at every opportunity that the child is Perhan’s and that she got pregnant the day they were together, she cannot convince herself. The wedding takes place. After the wedding, Perhan goes to look at the house that Ahmed built for her, but there is no house and no savings for Perhan. She realizes that Ahmed has deceived her and lied to her. When she returns to Ahmed, she believes his lies again.
One of the most special scenes of the movie, both in terms of spectacle and music, is Azra’s birth scene. Before the birth begins, Perhan tells Azra that she has seen the birth in her dream and that she has given birth to a white bird. Azra goes into labor wearing a white wedding dress and Perhan’s dream comes true.
Perhan has a son. And Perhan continues to work for Ahmed despite everything that has happened. However, Perhan is once again deceived by Ahmed. She learns that her brother was kidnapped from the hospital to be employed by Ahmed. He starts looking for his brother in Rome. At the same time, she also searches for Ahmed who has disappeared. Perhan writes the following words in a letter to her grandmother: “I now know that bad men can confuse people and make them see things that are not there.” Ahmed was both a father and a god to Perhan. Being deceived by him meant for Perhan that his dreams were being played with.
When Perhan finds Danira in Rome, she also reaches Ahmed through her. Ahmed remarries and has a wedding. When Perhan goes and finds Ahmed on the wedding day, she takes revenge on him with her special power. Meanwhile, she sends her son Perhan and Danira to their grandmother. However, her dream comes true once again. The flying white bird is now Perhan.
Perhan had set off with the candy apples given to him by his grandmother. But now her son Perhan is on his way back with new candy apples.
What remains of Perhan are these words: “What good is a gypsy without dreams!”
A movie that should be watched in the unique atmosphere of the gypsies and Perhan’s journey. Especially for the music.