This movie is more complex and more fascinating than the simple story of a band of musicians being put together. It's political as well - the whole subtext of anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe is important to the film. So if you're hesitating about renting because you think it will simply be "quirky," or cute, don't. It's thought-provoking, the music is FANTASTIC (be sure to listen to it all the way through the credits), the status of the musicians as "outsiders" is troubling (as was the poverty of the musicians in Buena Vista Social Club)- a very offbeat and fascinating movie. It does have a narrative arc - you worry about whether or not the central organizer is even going to be able to find musicians (forget whether he can communicate with them once he finds them) after already committing "the orchestra" to play at an arts "troubles" individuals in the orchestra encounter - sleeping in storage facilities, working difficult jobs, searching for a place to sleep, suffering the hostility of many Romans. Not only do they seem to survive in those conditions, they play their music with tremendous joy. The film is shot with some kind of washed-out 70's low-grade film or filter, which might have been because few dollars were available for higher quality, or might have been an aesthetic choice. Rather than detract from the movie, the graininess of some of the movie adds a bit of atmospheric flare. Fine movie - wish I could find a CD of the music in it!
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