THE SHUTKA BOOK OF RECORDS (Aleksandar Manic) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Watching the Romany citizens of Shutka, Macedonia, who dance and sing and cheer at gander fighting matches, it's hard not to think of Sacha Baron Cohen.
But, like Borat, this film is less about highlighting the differences between East and West, and more about showing ways we're alike.
The doc introduces us to the best drummer, the oldest father, the priest who's battled the most evil genies. At first they just seem an assortment of colourful characters, but it gradually becomes clear that life in Shutka is all about competition.
Collecting cassettes of Turkish music is a sport, with seasons and qualifying rounds. You can be a champion of singing or disco dancing or sex. Many who'd otherwise leave Shutka to seek their fortune in the West stay to hold onto a chance to become a champion.
It's all a bit strange until you remember American Idol, Deal Or No Deal and The Amazing Race. We like our competitions, too. In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. Doctor Koljo, Shutka's best fisher, meet YouTube. You should get along fine.
(Screens February 7 at the Bloor, as part of Doc Soup.)