From Dino Muratagics book “Post Yugoslav Cinema”
Both the European art film festival sccne and Hollywood found Gypsy Birth a magnificent piece of filmmaking. Besides the official recognition throughout former Yugoslavian and European film circles, in 1980, Gypsy Birth was the official Yugoslav nominee for an Academy Award. Moreover, the way that Popov recorded the Romani celebration of St George’s10 day in Gypsy Birth (Dae) had a strong impact on Kusturica. According to Dina Iordanova (2006 p. 209), Kusturica staged and filmed the key scene in his film of the Gypsies on the ‘St George Day Celebration’, directly inspired by theway that Popov recorded it in his multi-awarded documentary.
Kusturica’s Time of the Gypsies in some ways concludcs the history of united Yugoslav cinema. In the times that followed, during the conficts in Croatia and Bosnia, post-Yugoslav cinemas became more or less preoccupied with their own survival. Thus, the image of the Roma disappeared from the screen. However, Roma invisibility on the cinema screen in the Western Balkans did not last for long. Soon after an uneasy peace was established in Croatia and Bosnia at the end of 1995, Post -Yugoslav cinema launched two award-winning all-Roma features.
The first, Gypsy Magic (Popov 1997), came from Macedonia. Kusturica made Crna Macka, Beli Macor/Black Cat, White Cat (1998) in Serbia. Black Cat, White Cat had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where Kusturica won the best director award. One year earlier, in 1997, Gypsy Magic had premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival. The film was a nominee for the Grand Prix des Ameriques. If Gypsy Magic just missed there, it was luckier a couple months later, during the Mediterranean Film Festival in Montpellier, where it won the Grand Prix Antigone D’Oro for Best Film. It seemed that the focus on the Roma was back in full swing. Both the European festival circles and filmmakers from the former Yugoslavia keep watching and making filmic narratives about Romani living in the Western Balkans.