Sunday, November 18, 2007


Musical documentary
In Romani, Spanish, Macedonian, Romanian, Hindi and Marwari with English subtitles.

The Romani or Romany people (as a noun the singular is Rom, plural Roma) are an ethnic group living in many communities all over the world. The Roma are often referred to as Gypsies or Gipsies, a term that is sometimes considered pejorative and is based on a mistaken belief of an origin in Egypt. In actuality, the Roma have their origins in India.

The Roma are generally considered to be wandering nomads despite the fact that today the vast majority live in permanent housing. This widely dispersed ethnic group lives across the world not only near their historic heartland in Southern and Eastern Europe but also in North America and the Middle East.

Roma music plays an important role in Eastern European cultures such as Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Hungary, Russia, and Romania. The style and performance practices of Roma musicians have influenced European classical composers such as Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. One traditional form of Roma music is the genre of the gypsy brass band. The distinctive sound of Roma music has also strongly influenced jazz, bolero and flamenco.

Esma Redzepova, the "Queen of the Gypsies”
Sayari Sapera, superb dancer with the group Maharaja
Antonio El Pipa, a flamenco dancer
His aunt, Juana la del Pipa

Back in 2001 a group of musicians did a 16-city tour of the United States. This film travels with them for the 6 weeks they were on the road. About equal time is given to the actual concerts and to the principal performers. In doing so, we get a comprehensive overview of Roma music as well as some understanding of the people themselves.

The camerawork is particularily good and the editing first rate.


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