Tony Gatlif (director)
Saffron Hill Films (studio)
Cert 15 (certificate)
103 min (length)
11 February 2013 (released)
22 February 2013
Despite the alluring Asia Argento in the lead, TranSylvania is not a vampire flick but an almost mystical film depicting the fascinating and superstitious world of the Roma-gypsies.
Zingarina (A. Argento) is a highly impulsive young woman in love with musician Milan (Marco Castoldi). There’s only one problem: The French authorities have expelled Milan and forced him to return to his native Romania. Which is why Zinga and her friend Marie (Amira Casar) turn up in the backwaters of Transylvania, to search for Milan. Which is where the film actually starts.
After bewildering encounters in various bars and clubs, especially those frequented by the native gypsies, Zinga indeed finds Milan. Just when she is about to reveal that she’s pregnant by him, he too has news for her: he wasn’t expelled but left France of his own free will… because he’s not in love with her. And off he goes, leaving a heartbroken and desperate Zinga behind him.
That night, she decides to get drunk and dance with the gypsies, which is good on her as it means we get to hear some amazing and authentic gypsy music!
The following morning, Marie decides it’s time for the two to head back to France when Zinga unexpectedly cuts herself loose (including her luggage) and runs off all by herself.
Aimlessly heading from place to place, she stumbles upon the charismatic Tschangalo (Birol Ünel), a gypsy and travelling trader seemingly outcast by his own kind. The two lost souls embark on a highly charged and chaotic road trip, during which he begins to fall in love with Zingarina…
TranSylvania bewitches the viewer with its stunning scenery and compelling performances. Above all, it’s the insightful portrayal of Roma gypsy culture, their music, their dances and their rituals that turn the film into a little arthouse gem!
Bonus-material on the DVD contains ‘The Making Of’, ‘Q&A with director Gatlif and star Asia Argento, plus 2 bonus songs from the movie soundtrack. Languages options come in French, Romanian and English