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When gypsies meet Nazis -- havoc insues!

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This is the first gypsy Nazi movie I’ve ever seen. These gypsies are traveling around French roads in 1943, and it’s not just the Nazis after them. They have a cute little boy on their tail. He’s played well by Mathias Laliberte, the grandson of Charlie Chaplin and great grandson of legendary playwright Eugene O’Neill (O’Neill disowned his 18-year-old daughter when she married the 54-year-old Chaplin).

The town the gypsies usually hit for a harvest has a few new laws that make it tough. The mayor and a nice teacher help out, but eventually, they’ll be arrested and placed in an interment camp.

There are some rustic landscapes that are nicely shot, and a few comic moments that were hit-and-miss (more miss). Some of the musical passages are fun. I even liked how the movie started, with a barb wire fence (what holocaust movie doesn’t have that shot?). We see the barb wire move like strings of a harp, a great visual.

The problem is that this movie has a simplistic approach to the proceedings, and one crazy guy sinks the whole picture. There are scenes of him going crazy, rolling around in the dirt and leaves, and going nuts at various times. In Life is Beautiful, there was a method to his madness. In this, it’s just a bizarre distraction to everything.

Unless you’re hard up for a movie of this subject matter, I’d avoid it.

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  • Rating: 1 of 5