Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Shutka Book of Records- Shutka a town of superlatives

Shutka is a town of superlatives. Everyone proclaims to be a champion at something.
Who is the best at protecting the community from evil spirits? Who is the most talented singer in town? Meet the 'lamb champion' of 35 years and the greatest lover. They all star in Aleksandar Manic's unique film about Shutka, Macedonia, where the largest Roma community in the Balkans resides.

The Shutka Book of Records captures the idiosyncrasies of Roma culture, revealing the humour and tall stories of an ancient travelling people who are often persecuted but little understood.

The most obscure pursuits, from vampire hunting to training geese to fight and collecting hard-to-find cassettes of Turkish music, are all fair game in the townspeoples' constant quest for one-upmanship.

With most of the community living on welfare, next door to a vast refugee camp left over from the Kosovan conflict, Shutka could easily be a depressing, hopeless place.
While Shutka is cash poor, it is rich in imagination, and with so many champions in Shutka, there are opportunities for everyone