Django | Chicago Reader


First-time director √Čtienne Comar sets this biopic of Django Reinhardt in 1943, when the Romani jazz guitarist and composer (Reda Kateb) was performing in Paris for packed houses of civilians and Nazi officers and also plotting his escape. Stark and affecting depictions of the Romani genocide bookend the narrative, which traces Reinhardt's personal evolution from appeasement and irresponsibility ("It's not my war," he argues when considering a German tour) to embracing his music's power to inspire hope and solidarity in the Romani people. Based on a 2013 novel by Alexis Salatko, the film contains a number of fictionalized characters and scenarios that ring false (Reinhardt's moral questioning is activated by a groupie with a heart of gold), but the extended musical numbers by Reinhardt's Quintette du Hot Club de France are wonderful, featuring Ketab on guitar, Australian multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis, and the Dutch jazz band the Rosenberg Trio. In French with subtitles.


Cast information not available at this time.

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