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Shutka Book of Records Premieres at Bloor Cinema Feb 7

And you thought you could only see vampire hunts and demon exorcisms on reruns of Buffy: the Vampire Slayer. Apparently the new Czech documentary The Shutka Book of Records takes an inside look at the real slayers and genie exterminators (among other things) of Shutka, the largest Roma (Gypsy) community in the world. The critically lauded film will debut here in Toronto on February 7th at 6:30pm and 9:15pm at the Bloor Cinema as part of Hot Docs' monthly film series Doc Soup.

The Macedonian Shutka community, nicknamed "Happy Valley," is known for their vibrant self-ruling Roma population, where the people train to hunt vampires and other evil spirits, teach geese to fight and collect obscure Turkish music on audiotape. Even though the community is located in one of the poorest regions of Europe, nobody seems to want to leave their happy little closed world (despite the fact Roma elsewhere have been migrating to wealthier Western European states for the last 20 years). Aleksander Manic's film gives a rare look inside the village, following a set of outrageous characters and documenting scenes from their wacky everyday lives. It has atttracted quite the international cult following, playing in festivals around the world before earning the attention of Hot Docs.

Every month until April 2007, the Hot Docs Doc Soup program showcases unique Canadian and International documentary works for Toronto audiences. Screenings regularly sell-out, with only a limited number of tickets available at Hot Docs. Otherwise you can purchase tickets at the door for $12. Students with valid ID can attend the 9:15pm screening for free, courtesy of the Toronto Star. The next Doc Soup screenings will take place March 7 & April 4, before Hot Docs presents its 14th annual festival from April 17-19, 2006.

Check back soon for a full review.


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