The Roma Filmmaker – Tony Gatlif

Music as memory of their persecution or why Gotlif focused on Gypsy music.

I wanted to make a film the Rom people could be proud of, not something to exhibit their misery. I wanted to produce a hymn to this people that I love.

Latcho Drom is a musical odyssey which follows the route of the Gypsies from Rajasthan in northwestern India through Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, France and finally, Spain

Romany’s Indian heritage captured from this youtube sample.

(Full screen version)

The Roma are among the most widely persecuted peoples in the world. Going by many different names including the derogatory Gypsy (The British believed they originated in Egypt), Roma seems to be slowly gaining as the accepted name. Linguistic and genetic evidence puts their origin in the Punjab India which they seem to have left about 1000 – 1050 AD. (The Roma Poetess)

The director, Tony Gatlif, born in Algeria, talks about his film:

When I arrived in Balteni, I found extraodinary people without a care for Rumania nor France! Balteni is located 60 kilometers from Bucharest. It is a sort of isolated ghetto in the middle of the countryside. (via)

Gadjo Dilo is the last in a trilogy of films (The Princess, Latcho Drom) by Tony Gatlif about gypsy culture. Romain Duris who played the European in Gadjo Dilo 10 years ago worked with Gatlif again in Exile 2004.

Romany Roots photo gallery (BBC)

Django Rhinhardt was Belgian Sinto Gypsy jazz guitarist.

Portfolio of Andrew Miksys in slide show and an introduction by Andre Codrescu (Slate).