Gilaven! Sing!

Weakly structured but held together by the outsized personality of Czech singer-teacher Ida Kelarova, German-made docu "Gilaven! Sing!" accompanies the diva as she teaches, performs and meets Romany people living in appalling conditions in the Czech countryside. Pic is most likely to find its voice on late-night, specialist cable slots, especially in territories with sizeable gypsy populations.

With:
With: Ida Kelarova, Desiderius Duzda, Marie Duzdova, Denisa Harlova, Bohumil Havrla, Eva Davidova, Jan Jajko, Cejia Stojka.

Weakly structured but held together by the outsized personality of Czech singer-teacher Ida Kelarova, German-made docu “Gilaven! Sing!” accompanies the diva as she teaches, performs and meets Romany people living in appalling conditions in the Czech countryside. Pic is most likely to find its voice on late-night, specialist cable slots, especially in territories with sizeable gypsy populations.

A massively popular jazz singer and musician in the Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia, Kelarova is seen dividing her time between giving voice lessons in Prague to large groups (her teaching style has a self-help tone), gigging and traveling around the two countries visiting Romany communities with her husband, Desiderius Duzda, himself of Romany descent. Pic displays a slightly ambivalent attitude to this secretive migrant culture, celebrating its rich musical tradition but also despairing over its menfolk’s tendency toward violence and alcoholism. Result is docu that’s neither wholly an artist portrait nor a cultural investigation, rather something less satisfying in between. Still, unfussily filmed musical interludes make for pleasant viewing. Editing is weak link in an otherwise competent DV tech package.

Gilaven! Sing!

Germany

Production: A Weltfilm, ZDF 3Sat, MDR production. (International sales: MDC Intl., Berlin.) Produced by Jana Cisar. Co-producers, Udo Bremer, Beata Schoenfeldt. Directed, written, edited by Stephan Settele.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Peter Zach; music, Ida Kelarova, Desiderius Duzda. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Special Video Screenings), July 5, 2004. Czech, Slovak, Romany, English dialogue. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Ida Kelarova, Desiderius Duzda, Marie Duzdova, Denisa Harlova, Bohumil Havrla, Eva Davidova, Jan Jajko, Cejia Stojka.

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