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France, 2002 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

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).

See also...


The final instalment in Tony Gatlif's gypsy trilogy, The Crazy Stranger follows 1993's critical and box office winner Latchmo Drom and Mondo (1995). St├ęphane is a handsome young Parisian ... More »


Les Princes is an exceptional first feature by someone who never expected to be allowed to make a film. "I must thank the French system which makes an allocation of money on the basis of the script ... More »


Exiles (Exils) France ... Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes, Exiles is MIFF regular Tony Gatlif's (Swing, MIFF 2002) latest intoxicating, music fuelled, and most personal cinematic delight ... More »


"A cry, a chant, a hymn to life, to love, to mourning and the price of blood," is how Tony Gatlif describes his latest feature, a beautifully brooding tale of a monumental feud between two warring ... More »


A tough, brooding thriller that reaches deep into the heart of Turkish-Armenian animosity. The DST, France's internal secret service, observes the covert arrival on their shores of Aram, a feared ... More »


This fiery romance-cum-underworld saga was snapped up for the Berlin Film Festival this year. Forbidden love clashes with issues of people smuggling, illegal bare-knuckle fights and Gallic triads ... More »

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