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The Pied Piper of Hützovina
The Pied Piper of HutzovinaEUGENE HUTZ, THE LEAD SINGER of successful New York Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello, met London filmmaker Pavla Fleischer at a party. She fell under the spell of this enigmatic young man who, like her, was living in the West but was of East European origin.

A week later, in the summer of 2004, Pavla went with Eugene on a car journey through Eastern Europe. She enjoyed being with him, and because she wanted to recapture the spirit of that first time together, she later organised another trip back to the Ukraine Eugene's home country with plans to visit other parts of Eastern Europe, so that she could film him as he rediscovered his musical roots and sought musical inspiration from the gypsy culture he was determined to preserve.

This compulsive documentary, The Pied Piper of Hutzovina, is the result of that road trip. It is the story of two people travelling together
on different courses a journey that tests their relationship and gives them an alternative view of the gypsy music they both love.

Starting with Serbian gypsy Boban Marcovic's concert in Budapest, Eugene moves on to the local gypsy radio station where he presents his particular energetic brand of gypsy-punk music. Unfortunately for Pavla, Eugene has brought another woman on their trip and will not allow her to be filmed.

Uzhhorod, the Carpathian region of the Ukraine, is surrounded by a large number of gypsy camps and Eugene is soon accepted in those he visits. His family are from the Sirva clan and he used to spend summers in that area. Now he finds himself drawn to it.

When Eugene was a child, he came to a wedding at the Muchacevo Gypsy Camp. Pavla meets a sad little girl called Zita there, but can't understand the words she uses to explain her sadness. Eugene says "They are living on a planet that is on a planet… they were excited that somebody came; that somebody knew they existed. Their sadness is so overwhelming…" With a single note on a borrowed guitar, Eugene is hooked emotionally.

At Svaljava Gypsy Camp, there is singing and dancing. Romantic and seductive, gypsy music is so diverse which is why Eugene collects music from all over the world. He has a magnetic personality and wherever he goes he attracts followers much like the legendary Pied Piper.

In Moscow, Eugene watches his friend's concert before going on to Serbia to meet Eugene's musical hero Sasha Kolpakov a gypsy dancer and maestro of the 7-string guitar who was interested in
the attraction Eugene's music had for young people. Then it was back to the Kiev neighbourhood where Eugene grew up before meeting the disapproving head of the Kiev Gypsy Theatre who does not like Eugene's music as he insists that gypsy music must be pure.

Eugene's grandmother, who "put a gypsy seed" in his mind is very important to him and the film is dedicated to her: "In memory of Babushka Shura (1924 to 2006)".

Slingshot Studios presents an APT film of the energetic road trip starring Eugene Hutz, The Pied Piper of Hutzovina. It is available now to buy and rent on DVD. RRP £12.99; Special features: Mini Docu-mentary Behind the Scenes, Music Clips, Music Video Start Wearing Purple; Theatrical Trailer; Pilot Promo. 65 minutes running time. Colour; English; Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1; Sound Source: Dolby Digital. Catalogue Number: SLINGSHOT001.

Check out:

"Hutz's epic odyssey to explore the land and music of his Ukranian forebears is actually fantastic" Time Out, London

"The Pied Piper of Hutzovina is an intimate insight into this wild star, made by a filmmaker upon whom he clearly made a big impression" Songline Magazine

"There couldn't be a better ambassador for gypsy music's infectious appeal. Hutz draws a following no matter what he does" The Times

Eugene Hutz and his New York-based Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello are currently just about the coolest band around, with Kerrang magazine describing Hutz as "one of the great rock frontmen ever" and NME placing him on their 'Cool List'. After stealing the show at LIVE EARTH, when Eugene and fellow band member Sergey were invited by Madonna to perform a very special rendition of her number one hit La Isla Bonita mixed with the traditional Romany song, Lela Pala Tute, a live staple for Gogol Bordello, and performed in the Romany language, The Independent commented that the performance had "captured the global span of the event in a way that no-one else had managed."

Gogol Bordello's new album, Super Ta Super Taranta is out now. It
was released on 9 July 2007 and entered the Independent Chart at
No 3 (after only The White Stripes and the Arctic Monkeys) and the
UK Album Chart Top 75.

Gogol Bordello comprises Eugene Hutz on vocals, guitar and percussion, Sergey Rjabtzev on violin, Yuri Lemeshev on accordion, Eliot Ferguson on drums, Oren Kaplan on guitar, dancer/percussionists Elizabeth Sun and Pamela Jintana Racine and the bass-player from Ethiopia, Tommy Gobena.

Gogol Bordello returned to the UK in August for performances at The Beautiful Days Festival in Exetervon and the Reading/ Leeds Festiv-alvon.

In 2005, Eugene Hutz starred alongside Elijah Wood in Liv Schreiber's film, Everything Is Illuminated.