Director: Tony Gatlif
Festival favourite Tony Gatlif (Vengo, MIFF 2001, Gadjo Dilo, MIFF 1998) returns with a meditative sunny and thoroughly enthralling new film. Enjoying an idyllic summer vacation in the Alsace countryside with his grandmother, 10-year-old Max becomes enchanted by the virtuoso Gypsy jazz guitar playing of local legend Miraldo. Max trades his walkman for a guitar that a scamming tomboy called Swing assures him originally belonged to the great Django Reinhardt. Taking lessons from Miraldo and immersing himself in the culture of the Manouche Gypsy neighbourhood, Max falls in love with both their way of life and Swing.
Swing exhibits all the warmth and passion of Gatlif's prior investigations of Gypsy culture. His subplot - a subtle history of the persecution of the Manouche - is as deftly handled as the finely wrought narrative. And then, of course, there's the exceptional music.
"An intimate story peppered with beautifully lit compositions." - Variety
Tony Gatlif (born in Algiers, 1948) emigrated to France in the 60s to study art and acting. Stage and TV appearances soon followed as did his debut film, La Tete En Ruines, in 1975. Gatlif's work has frequently focused on the plight of Gypsies, his international breakthrough movie being Latcho Drom (1993).