The London International Gypsy Film Festival: Finding Romanistan

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16th March 2006


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16-30 March 2006 Click here to see images related to this event. The London International Gypsy Film Festival is an international celebration of Romany culture, community and identity, as represented within the moving image. Over two weeks and through dozens of features, documentaries and short films, an argument will be creatively made against all the stereotypes, prejudice and often overt hostility displayed towards a people over centuries. This festival, the first time that such a body of work has been presented in the UK, seeks instead to present a much more comprehensive and rounded sense of what it means to live as a Romany. Whether the films are made by Gypsy film-makers or others, they share a major quality: all seek a kind of justice, more or less explicitly. And they hope also, of course, to entertain and inspire, to open doors into different ways of being in the world. The Festival presents several films from Romania, and there are also several films about Romanian Gypsies. Please see below their programme and details. For the full programme of the London International Gypsy Film Festival, please visit the Festival’s website at www.ligff.org.uk Thursday 16 March 2006 – OPENING NIGHT FILM & WORLD PREMIERE: ‘TARAF DE HAIDOUKS LIVE AT UNION CHAPEL’ 18.00 for 18.30, Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5DY; Box Office: 0870 756 4620z Tickets: £9.50/£6.50 concs ‘Taraf de Haidouks Live at Union Chapel’, 2006, UK, 58 mins, dir. Marc Allen. Cert 15. Capturing a unique moment in the life of the Romany supergroup, Allen’s vibrant and expressive portrait of the band finds them in fiery form at London’s Union Chapel, playing many of their best-loved songs with all the verve and invention we have come to expect from these most talented musicians. Plus discussion with director Marc Allen. preceded by ‘On the Road with Taraf’, 2005, Belgium, 17 mins, dir. Michel Winter, Stephane Karo. Highlights from the Taraf archives, featuring vivid footage from their global touring since 1990. and ‘The Taraf Speak to You’, 2005, UK, 23mins, dir. Marc Allen. Interviews with all the major ‘players'. Friday 17 March 2006 – ‘GADJO DILO’ 18.30, Ciné Lumière, French Institute, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT; Tel: 020 7073 1350 Tickets: £9/£7 concs ‘Gadjo Dilo’, 1997, France, 90mins, dir. Tony Gatlif, with Romain Duris, Rona Hartner, Izidor Serban. Cert.15. Gatlif's superb celebration of the Gypsy people, set in Romania, tells a tale of a young Parisian's search for a singer beloved by his deceased father. Gatlif makes films with a semi-documentary feel and preponderantly non-professional casts, lacing his sharp, droll observations with the music, song and lusty ebullience of his subjects. Essential to the film's success is Gatlif's controlled ability to meld life and art, to garner convincing performances and, as they say, fake spontaneity. Funny, enlivening, entertaining and moving. (Wally Hammond, Time Out London) Also showing on Sunday 19 March 2006, 18.30, Ciné Lumière, French Institute, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT; Tel: 020 7073 1350,Tickets: £9/£7 concs and Sunday 26 March, 16.35, Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB; Tel 020 7241 9410, Tickets £7.50/£5.50 concs Saturday 18 March 2006 – ‘NO MAN IS A PROPHET IN HIS OWN LAND’ 16.00, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Stepney, London E1 4UJ; Box office: 08700 606 061 Tickets: £6.50/£4.50 concs ‘No Man is a Prophet in His Own Land’, 2001, France, 52mins, dir. Elsa Dahmani. Cert 15. A spirited document of the iconic Romanian band Taraf de Haidouks, shot during the recording of their album ‘Band of the Gypsies', as their global reputation continued to rise. Filmed in their home village of Clejani and in Bucharest, it's an intimate portrait of the band and their community. Saturday 18 March 2006 – ‘ANGEL’ 14.00, Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB; Tel 020 7241 9410 Tickets: £5.50/£4.50 concs & under 15s ‘Angel’ (within the Short film programme for children. Cert PG), 2001, Romania, 30 mins, dir. Alexander Smolyanov. Two children live in the most magic village in the world... Saturday 18 March 2006 – ‘LATCHO DROM’ 18.15 and 21.00, Ciné Lumière, French Institute, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT; Tel: 020 7073 1350 Tickets: £7/£5 concs ‘Latcho Drom’, 1993, France, 103mins, dir. Tony Gatlif. Cert U. The title means 'safe journey', and Gatlif's wonderful document is an impassioned, semi-allegorical odyssey traced, using one group of Rom after another, from India – by way of Egypt, Istanbul, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the annual pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mer in the Camargue – to Spain. A document of customs, craftsmanship, costumes, faces and, most especially, song and dance, it's a musical celebration of the gypsies' sense of community and ability to survive in the face of upheaval, prejudice and persecution. Technically, the film, shot in numerous locations in 'Scope and stereo, is also a triumph. (Geoff Andrew, Time Out London) Also showing on Sunday 26 March 2006, 14.30, Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB; Tel 020 7241 9410, Tickets: £7.50/£5.50 concs Saturday 18 March 2006 – ‘THE SORROW OF BLACK GOLD’ 16.00, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Stepney, London E1 4UJ; Box office: 08700 606 061 Tickets: £6.50/£4.50 concs ‘The Sorrow of Black Gold’ (Tristetea Aurului Negru), 1994, Romania, 14mins, dir. Sinisa Dragin. Cert 15. An impression of the harsh reality of Gypsy ‘survivors’ in a village near Bucharest, who find an oil well near a refinery and start using it to provide fuel for heating. The local police intervene... Without commentary, the camera follows the people from a distance, accompanied by the music of the Romanian Gypsy orchestra Taraful din Clejani. Also showing on Tuesday 28 March 2006, 18.45, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Stepney, London E1 4UJ; Box office: 08700 606 061. Tickets: £6.50/£4.50 concs and Wednesday 29 March 2006, 18.45, Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB; Tel 020 7241 9410. Tickets: £7.50/£5.50 concs Sunday 19 March 2006 – ‘SWING’ 16.30, Ciné Lumière, French Institute, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT; Tel: 020 7073 1350 Tickets: £9/£7 concs ‘Swing’, 2002, Romania/France, 102mins, dir. Tony Gatlif, with Oscar Copp, Lou Rech. Cert.12. One day, 10 year old Max hears the manouche guitar playing of a Gypsy named Miraldo and is hooked. Ignoring his grandmother's entreaties, he secures a guitar, heads to the wrong side of town and begs Miraldo to teach him. Soon Max is enmeshed in Gypsy culture as he simultaneously begins to learn about music and life. Wednesday 22 March 2006 – ‘ROMANE IASFA’ (WORLD PREMIERE) 18.45, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Stepney, London E1 4UJ; Box office: 08700 606 061 Tickets: £6.50/£4.50 concs ‘Romane Iasfa’ (Romany Tears) 2006, Romania, 52mins, dir. Luminita Cioaba, Cert 15. – WORLD PREMIERE From the spring till the autumn of the year 1942, at the order of Marshall Ion Antonescu, there were deportations of the nomadic and sedentary Roma people from Romania to Transdnistria (Eastern Moldova). It was a tragedy of huge proportions that has been completely ignored until now. Some of the people deported had sons, husbands and fathers enrolled in the Romanian army. This fact, without parallel in the Second World War, was one of the reasons for ceasing the deportation of the Roma people to Transdnistria. Even today we have no exact numbers of the people who suffered and died in the concentration camps. Plus discussion with director Luminita Cioaba. Plus (free with cinema ticket) History: Panel Discussion, with Donald Kenrick, writer; Professor Thomas Acton, academic, Head of Romani Studies at University of Greenwich; Zelimir Zilnik, filmmaker; and, Grattan Puxon, writer (tbc) Friday 24 March 2006 – ‘GYPSY CHILD BRIDES’ and ‘THE CURSE OF THE HEDGEHOG’ 18.30, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Stepney, London E1 4UJ; Box office: 08700 606 061 Tickets: £6.50/£4.50 concs ‘Gypsy Child Brides’, 2004, England, 30mins, dir. Liviu Tipurita. Cert 15. An exploration of the phenomenon of arranged, under-aged marriages in Romania. Made as part of the BBC’s ‘World Weddings’ series. Plus discussion with director Liviu Tipurita. followed by ‘The Curse of the Hedgehog’, 2004, Romania, 93 mins, dir. Dumitru Budrala. Cert 15 “I cared for my donkey more than I do for my own man and kids. But now it's dead. If I had a donkey now, I would live like a Member of Parliament,” concludes Turica, one of the main characters in the film. She and her relatives wander from village to village, carrying on their backs handmade brooms and baskets, which they try to trade for food. The film follows an extremely poor Gypsy family in their winter survival trips. The viewers have the chance to meet real people in absurd everyday situations. Remarkable photography, together with the very rich oral texture of the characters, introduces a remote world. Saturday 25 March 2006 – ‘IAG BARI: BRASS ON FIRE’ 23.15, Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB; Tel 020 7241 9410 Tickets: £7.50/£5.50 concs ‘Iag Bari: Brass on Fire’, 2002, Germany, 103 mins, dir. Ralf Marschalleck. Cert 15. A vibrant, swinging musical documentary about Gypsy musicians, this time with some insight into how ‘Fanfara Ciocarlia' – ‘Skylark Brass Band’ came from a small village in the Carpathian mountains of Romania to the attention of a world audience. plus live music (free with cinema ticket): European Gypsy Ensemble. Supported by Film London, UK Film Council, Hackney Council, Hackney Strategic Partnership, News International, Czech Centre, Polish Cultural Institute, Romanian Cultural Centre in London The London International Gypsy Film Festival is produced through The Other Cinema Ltd.




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