- Directed by Tony Gatlif
Documentary, musical and performing arts
With different artists: Daoud Langa (Rajasthan), The Musicians of the Nile (Egypt), Taraf de Haidouks (Romania), La Caita (Spain), etc
(France, 1993, Language French, Romany, Turkish, Slovak, Rajasthani, Hungarian, Arabic, Spanish, 103’)
- Tuesday 9 June - 8:00 pm
“I wanted to make a film that the Roms (Gypsies) could be proud of, a film that wouldn’t make a sideshow of their misery. I wanted to write a song of praise to this people I love....I felt that if people really got to know the Gypsies, they would lose their age-old prejudices: child kidnappers, chicken thieves...” (Tony Gatlif)
Read more : Review by Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago Reader, 1995)
The film takes the viewer on the westward journey of the Romany people told through musicians and dancers of India (Rajasthan), Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, France, and Spain. This journey takes place over a year’s time, from summer through fall and winter to spring.
The film illustrates the variety of conditions in which the Romany people live—earthbound nomads in the hot deserts of Asia, ironsmiths and abjectly poor tree-dwellers in the frozen plains of Eastern Europe, and craftspeople and traders in the hills and seaside of North Africa and Western Europe. It also illustrates the similarities in travel habits, musical tones (spoons, open drums, and string-based rhythms) and song themes (celebration of travel and perceived rejection by sedentary locals).
Latcho Drom is a tapestry, a series of portraits of Rom communities woven together by music. Gatlif holds his camera on the elemental essentials of this life: water, the wheel, fire, beasts of burden and of sustenance, colorful clothes, jewelry, musical instruments, song, and dance. Throughout, via song and dance, young and old celebrate, embody, and teach the cultural values of family, journey, love, separateness, and persecution.
There is no dialogue or narration—only partial translation of some songs, and narration is not needed. You get a sense of a joyous people, strongly linked in small communities where social interaction is very important. And a great sense of sadness in parts, at their rejection by society at large.
So it’s a paean to Rom culture, very beautifully shot, with a wide spectrum of Rom music, and a sting in the tail which is the oppression these people have faced, and still face.
Among the featured artists:
- 1 Talab Khan Barna - Sat Bhayan Ki Ek Behanadli I (Seven Brothers and One Sister), (Rajasthan) 1:17
- 2 Daoud Langa (Kalbelya song)- Oh Kesario Hazari Gul Ro Phool (Rajasthan) 2:53 - Sima Devi / Suwa devi Kalbeya: Kalbelya dance
- 3 Gazi Khan Manghaniyar - Kaman Garo Kanhaji (Rajasthan) 3:20
- 4 Talab Khan Barna - Sat Bhayan Ki Ek Behanadli II (Rajasthan) 2:30
- 5 The Musicians of the Nile - Bambi Saidi (Egypt) 4:36
- 6 The Musicians of the Nile - Ya Dorah Shami (Egypt) 4:06
- 7 Istanbul Drom (Turkey) 0:39
- 8 Hasam Yarim Dunya and his Ensemble - Hicaz Dolap Rom (Turkey) 3:40
- 9 Taraf De Haïdouks - Balada Conducatoroui (Romania) 3:58
- 10 Taraf De Haïdouks - Rînd De Hore (Romania) 8:11
- 11 Rostas Szabina - Cigány Himnusz (Gypsy Anthem(, (Hungary) 3:28
- 12 The Kek Lang Ensemble - Gili (Béga Sitya) (Hungary) 4:29
- 13 Margita Makulova - Auschwitz (Slovakia) 1:57
- 14 Dorado and Tchavolo - Kali Sara (France) 2:57
- 15 Dorado and Tchavolo - Tchavolo Swing (France) 4:03
- 16 Gypsies of Badajoz - Ramona (Spain) 3:23
- 17 La Caita - El Pájaro Negro (The Black Bird), (Spain) 8:42
- 18 Latcho Drom (Spain) 1:00