The Little Gypsy Witch


Tomislav Zaja | Croatia | 2014 | 1 h 38 m

Croatian with English Subtitles

An urban Roma family lives in the suburbs of a big city; the father Hrast (33), the mother Aska (30), their daughter Manusha (10) and Granny Ilonka (55), Aska’s mother, a well-known fortune teller. Granny Ilonka dies suddenly, Aska is dismissed from her job in the light-bulb factory, while Hrast ‘loses his ear’, so he is fired from the funeral band in which he was a trumpet player. The family has suddenly lost all sources of income. After their electricity and phone is cut off, Aska reluctantly takes on her mother’s customers and begins fortune telling, while unsuccessfully sends applications for any kind of job. Manusha does not like going to school, because the other children refuse to accept her. They tease her and torment her, because she’s different from them. Manusha misses her grandmother, because her parents, burdened by the problems of bare survival, do not have time for a little girl, and they do not notice that something strange is happening in the house. Something like a sulphur smell permeates the house, and Manusha’s new class-mate and only friend in school Zdenko (9), the undertaker’s son, explains that this means her deceased grandmother is angry. Things become even worse when Granny Ilonka’s ghost start making things to levitate, fly, even to attack people in the house. Zdenko and Manusha start an investigation to try to find out what is agitating the deceased woman. Following the clues and ‘instructions’ left by Granny Ilonka’s ghost, Manusha and Zdenko end up at the Roma wedding celebration by the river, where they discover Ilonka’s secret: long ago she ran away from the gypsy community, because she has decided to end with nomadic way of living, so her husband Kasum ‘cursed’ her, banning all Roma forever to say even a word with her or her kin. Manusha finaly finds her grandfather Kasum (65), and he is so touched by his spirited little granddaughter that he lifts the ‘curse’. The family finally makes peace with its relatives, and Granny Ilonka’s ghost can now rest in well-earned peace. Aska is hired as the secretary of the funeral home run by Zdenko’s father, Hrast buries his trumpet and fulfils his old dream to start a new career as a plumber, and Manusha is finally accepted by her class-mates and becomes a good pupil. Even grandpa Kasum stops his wondering way of living and finds peace and happiness with his long lost family.

Selma Ibrahimi
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