Shanghai Gypsy - the new Slovenian film

November 2012

Shanghai Gypsy, a romantic drama by film director Marko Naberšnik, based on a novel by Feri Lainšček, has receivedthe Best Screenplay Award at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Award for Shanghai Gypsy

Photo: STA

After the success of Rooster’s Breakfast  (original: Petelinji zajtrk), which captivated the audience in Slovenia, Shanghai Gypsy is Naberšnik’s second feature film. In Montreal it was nominated for eight awards. However, it was the screenplay that most convinced the jury. The film tells the story of four generations of a Roma family and is narrated by its protagonist, a gypsy king who decided to establish his own gypsy village and name it Shanghai. The film is a story about eternal longing for happiness, a story about love and family ties.

The winners among the selected films were chosen by an international jury composed of British actress Greta Scacchi (President), French producer and director Vera Blemont, Canadian actor Michel Côté, South Korean actor Kim Dong Ho, Russian film critic and writer Andrei Plakhov, Spanish actress Goya Toledo and Chinese actor Wang Xueqi.

Story outline

Shanghai Gypsy is a love story. The main protagonists are members of the gypsy family Mirga. A story about four generations is narrated by Lutvija Belmondo Mirga. Lutvija is also the central character of the film, a gypsy king who decided to establish his own gypsy village, which he names Shanghai. Belmondo makes a living from smuggling and his power and influence grow large. He even gets local police and politics on his side and that helps him to become untouchable by the law. But with the downfall of Yugoslavia, smuggling of goods is being replaced by smuggling of arms. Though lucrative, the business starts to threaten Belmondo’s personal life and he finds himself at a crossroads. Will he protect his own family or is he going to sacrifice his personal happiness for business ambitions?

Text by Polona Prešeren, Sinfo, October 2012   
Photo: STA