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Gypo Review

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The teenage daughter and mum of a working class family in Margate bring disruption into their family when they befriend a Romany refugee waiting for her British passport.

★★★★★

The first official british dogme film is a gritty, largely improvised drama about a caring mother who befriends a Romany Czech refugee. Pauline McLynn is excellent as working-class Helen, who turns to Tasha (Chloe Sirene) and her mother (Rula Lenska), motivated both by concern and a desire for the companionship her children and racist husband Paul (Paul McGann) are denying her.

As their friendship takes a dramatic turn, events are shown from three perspectives: Helen’s, Paul’s and — perhaps most revealingly — Tasha’s. Like Last Resort, this goes some way to tackling tabloid-perpetrated stereotypes, although the sparse sets and variable dialogue quality make it a tough nut to crack. Given time and patience, however, it’s a rewarding insight into cross-cultural friendships and their ability to change lives.

Fans of Last Resort should appreciate this sparse but eventually satisfying drama featuring some strong improvised performances.

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