Queen of the Gypsies

1976 [RUSSIAN]

Drama / Musical / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.4/10 10 1838 1.8K


Top cast

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917.27 MB
Russian 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 39 min
Seeds 7
1.66 GB
Russian 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 39 min
Seeds 16
882.12 MB
Russian 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 35 min
Seeds 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by topitimo-829-270459 7 / 10

The Most Popular Soviet film of 1976

Moldovan director Emil Loteanu's tenth feature film is probably his most famous one. "Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven" (1976) was a huge hit in the USSR, the most watched film in cinemas that year and also something that the critics fancied. The film, based on two stories by Maxim Gorki, is a depiction of wandering Gypsies in the turn-of-the-century Austria-Hungary. These people travel from one place to the next without staying long. They dance, they sing, and they fall in love.

Loteanu's film is very colorful and kind of other-worldly in its depiction of history. Though it is supposed to be taking place in 1900 or something, the gypsies at times look like 1970's hippies, and the look of the film is a tad anachronistic. It is not a narrative-driven film, but instead focuses on the atmosphere. There is a lot of gypsy music in it, which was historically interesting, and many of the songs were a joy to listen to. As a depiction of a disappearing way of life, this film works well. As a well-thought-out artistic experience, it's pretty messy. Some will like it more than others.

Reviewed by tlespagnol 7 / 10

Worth seeing but a bit too much 70s-like

This film, known as "Satra" - a group of wandering gypsies - to the Romanians is definitely worth viewing. Based on a short novel by Gorki, it gives a snapshot of Gypsy life in the Far-Eastern part of the Habsburg Empire. Nevertheless, the film is a bit diminished by its 1970s-Soviet origin: many badly played-back songs, a soundtrack that tends to give a hippy-70s flavors to the Gypsy songs. I'm not so enthusiastic about the work of the composer who rather spoiled the Gypsy music than improved it. In this domain, Goran Bregovici keeps the lead. The RUSCICO DVD edition includes some interesting bonus though not very enlightening. Notice that the script was refused by the Moldovan Film Studios so that it was shot by the Moscow film studios.

Reviewed by AudemarsPiguet 7 / 10

Gypsy music and 70's camp- melodrama with cult status

These were the seventies: while some European film-makers invaded the big screen with exploitation flicks, controversial satires and hammer horror soaked in a nightmarish conglomerate of blood and sexual fluids, while others- on both sides of the Iron Curtain- intelligently turned historical, literary or mythical subjects into sophisticated creations, Loteanu followed his style; Communism-supervised and censored 70's camp, so dated that it becomes anachronistically adorable.

Needles to say, this film, and it's follower " A hunting drama" (1978) are perfect examples. The rest of Loteanu's creations faded in the background, for he will be remembered by most moviegoers for these two pseudo costume/ period dramas combining subjects placed around 1900 with glamorous, showy and melodramatic seventies style.

In my native Romania, this film( also due to limited exposure to other directors, creations, because strict censorship allowed few films to be shown) this film had such a cult status, especially before 1989, that the soundtrack of this film was virtually in everyone's memory to such an extent that even people who didn't see the film knew it by heart, the songs were( quite liberally and inaccurately) translated into Romainian and were heard at least once at any party that was supposed to be truly entertaining. And even after 1989, when censorship was a over and tons of new channels and blockbusters invaded the big and the TV screen, it is still aired at least once a year on at least one TV channel.

The reason is simple- the film enjoys such a cult status because everything about it is unreal and the film doesn't even conceal it. Like the classic Hollywood musicals, infested with optimism and family friendly, lighthearted, almost Bubblegum Pop-style tunes, it must have been a colorful, campy, playful escape from an increasingly bleak everyday existence, not strictly in a restrained but even the "free" world. Like famous Romanian columnist Cristian Tudor Popescu said while analyzing this film( by the way, his rendition famous cinematic artworks followed by a cult classic are an interesting alternative to Mr. Tocilescu's more famous broadcast called "Schoking films") that this film is from the beginning striking a pact with the viewer. The Gypsy life is not sold as authentic but simply as pleasant and both he and his viewers know this-as long as it's entertaining. But, in the film's defense, Mr.CTP adds that the viewer who is not impressed by the breathtaking closeups emphasizing Svetlana Toma's eyes, the contrast between her overlong dark hair and pale face and her grand gestures might be a true film critic but not a true film lover( and this is something very rare to hear from one of today's most untouchable, strict and moralist journalists). In this sense, he is right. A single shot of Svetlana Toma singing in the streets is more fascinating than the entire film, even if the rest of the film were worthless, these very seconds are the work of genius that will make movie history. The scene is shot just brilliantly: the camera lingers on her face for a while before she starts to sing, these few moments are breathtaking and build up a huge tension, which continuously rises while she starts to sing a tune with one of the most haunting rhythmic structures in music history. It resembles the seconds before Liza Minelli starts to sing that famous "Money" -song from Cabaret, the technique is similar, a few seconds delay on the character's faces -highly expressive, even tense, then the breathtaking moment the music sets in, making it all even more captivating. And this so famous tune almost reminds me of Bryan Ferry's song "The price of love", because tough the music is Gyspsy, it has a certain Glam rock flavor- the elaborate use of beat and rhythm,creating one of the most compelling soundtracks ever , combined with a theatrical, Glam inspired gesture( everything almost toying with time and pacing in a continuous crescendo).

Svetalana Toma's actual performance is a combination between Claudia Cardinale's part from " The Leopard", strikingly resembling her physically, up to the clothes and the way she sensually wets her lips and hair and the dated image of the good-hearted gamine by Paulette Goddard in " Modern Times", homeless but anarchistic and ( anti-) socially active, even anticipating a bit Kate Bush's video for "Wuthering Heights" where the singer adopts a pseudo Gypsy look complete with red dress, breathtaking dancing, flowing dark hair and a red flower to adorn it. However the part of Rada is quite faked and idealized- i don't think that she had so much liberty to stay single so long in a society where marriages are arranged from early ages.

Also, I think that Gatlif or Kusturica( even if they also included a bit of idealization) render Gypsy tradition far more accurate than Loteanu. This is why i never saw this film completely up to very recently, thinking that it was nothing more than a mixture of simple people mocking the upper classes and some unilateral plain landscapes just tiring and boring my eyesight. But Loteanu seems to hesitate between some moments of genius( against all camp and censorship) and a very formal, artificial, overly sanctified, dogmatic depiction of nature, tradition and human migration-making all look tastelessly sanctified and mystical( very odd in an atheist film-making). Besides, all the characters, especially the male ones, are more hippies than gypsies, the men being easily interchangeable between gypsy whereabouts in one second and rather sleazy, "groovy", dated 70's macho( in fact, these macho, their influence in popular culture advocated outlandish clothing, casual fornication, nomadic lifestyle, anti-consumerist and anti-establishment stances). Even the ending is far-fetched and melodramatic- here the "tragedy" is posed, failing to impress or to cause sadness, making it equally campy as a cheesy happy end.

Worth watching as a flagship of seventies nostalgia, seasoned with few moments, scenes ( but worth as much as hours of cinematic masterpieces) of genius.

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