It’s a pretty rare occurrence when film events or festivals focus on Gypsies and Travellers. So for two to come along in March-April 2016 is great news — spreading from Hereford’s Borderlines Film Festival (1 March) to Spalding (12 March) and Cambridge (4 April). Here’s all the information you need to see ‘Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers on Film’ around the country:
Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers on Film
Spalding (South Holland Centre) Saturday 12 March 4-8pm. Tickets on sale here.
Cambridge (Cambridge Arts Picturehouse) Monday 4 April 5-8.15pm.
Two days of film screenings + discussions organised by, for, and about Romany Gypsies and Irish travellers. When it comes to the travelling community and how they’ve often been presented in the media — from tabloid headlines to reality television shows — it’s sad to think that so much of it is negative. For that reason, we hope to show films portraying travellers which will break down stereotypes and misunderstandings.
We hope for everyone to come learn and share their thoughts. We want to welcome Travellers, in particular, to come and watch films that celebrate their culture. Our screenings will include a short documentary and a feature film, followed by a short Q+A and audience discussion with Romany Gypsy author and poet Damian Le Bas and/or Charles Newland, a filmmaker and journalist for Travellers’ Times Magazine.
‘Where Do We Go From Here? (1969) dir. Philip Donnellan
A documentary looking at the relationships between travellers and an increasingly unfriendly industrialized Britain. Made for television by a renowned documentary filmmaker and traveller rights activist Philip Donnellan, the film runs to just under an hour.
Sky West and Crooked (1965) dir. John Mills
This British classic stars Ian McShane as Roibin, a mysterious traveller who falls in love with Brydie, an innocent, troubled West Country teenager (Hayley Mills). Exploring small-town bigotry and the relationships between settled and travelling communities, Mills’ film is a genuinely touching romance between outsiders. It’s a sympathetic view of the nomad’s lifestyle, scattered with words from the Romany language.
Romani Film Strand - Borderlines Film Festival
Hereford (The Courtyard) Tuesday 1 March.
We have three exciting UK Premieres for you in our Romani Cinema strand. Chosen by Romani curators especially for Borderlines, these two feature films and one documentary will give you a unique insight into the contemporary lives and culture of Europe’s twelve million diverse Romani people. All screenings will be introduced by curator and Travellers Times’ journalist Charles Newland.
The Green Green Grass Beneath (2.00 pm - Tickets Here)
(German; English subtitles)
Austria, 2005, 52’, dir. Karin Berger
Born in the year that Hitler came to power, the Romani painter Ceija Stojka (1933-2013) came from a proud lineage of nomadic merchants of the Lovari tribe. During the Second World War her entire family was interned in Nazi concentration camps, in which her father and most of her relatives were killed. After surviving Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, Stojka rose to become one of the 20th century’s foremost Romani artists. By encountering her in later life as she reflects on her experiences, director Karin Berger shows how memory, art and a proud ethnic culture converge in the struggle against murderous hate.
Gypsy (4.00 pm - Tickets Here)
(Romani, Slovak; English subtitles)
Slovakia, 2011, 100’, dir. Martin Sulík
Starring Jan Mizigar, Miroslav Gulyas, Martina Kotlarova, Miroslava Jarábeková
Returning from a trip to the woods one day, introspective Romani (Gypsy) teenager Adam arrives at the ramshackle slum where he lives to find his father has been murdered. Without delay, Adam’s menacing uncle Zigo marries his grieving mother, triggering a Hamlet-inspired storyline that diverges in subtle ways from Shakespeare’s plot. The icy hostility between the Gypsies and wider society is explored through brutal encounters with the police, and hospital staff reluctant to deliver a Gypsy child. As Uncle Zigo preaches his ruthless criminal code, we wait to discover if Adam can strike out on a path of his own.
Jimmy Rivière (7.30 pm — Tickets Here)
(French; English subtitles)
France, 2011, 90’, dir. Teddy Lussi-Modeste
Starring Guillaume Gouix, Béatrice Dalle, Hafsia Herzi
Jimmy is a “Voyageur” – a French Romani Traveller. Living in the back of his white Renault van, his first loves are kickboxing and his feisty girlfriend, Sonia. After a whirlwind conversion to the Pentecostal Christianity that is sweeping through his community, he is baptized in a river and promises to quit his lover-and-fighter lifestyle and be a virtuous Christian man. Caught between the pristine marquees and caravans of the pious Gypsies, and the prospect of eloping with Sonia and returning to the ring, Jimmy threatens to implode before he can choose which road to go down.
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