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Django Reinhardt + A fi țigan / Being Gypsy

ONE WORLD ROMANIA #13

Django Reinhardt + A fi țigan / Being Gypsy ONE WORLD ROMANIA #13

Title: Django Reinhardt
Director: Paul Paviot
Duration: 0h 26
Country: Franța
Year: 1957

Title: Att vara zigenare
Director: Peter Nestler
Duration: 0h 49
Country: Suedia
Year: 1970

Django Reinhardt

One of the first ever documentaries centring on a jazz musician, Paul Paviot’s 1957 short-film is based on Chris Marker’s text, narrated by Yves Montand and opens with one of Jean Cocteau’s mottos. But, above all, its subject is the legendary Django Reinhardt, who had died four years before its release. While depicting prominent events from his life, the film is marked, of course, by the resonance of the musical pieces performed by this famous Romani guitarist, which envelop the film in a delicate, somewhat melancholic atmosphere, augmented by the entire visual and narrative structure that the aforementioned ‘dream-team’ creates. Just as the protagonist’s music, “Django Rheinhardt” is like a breath of fresh air, paying a wistful, elegant and not in the least saccharine homage to the figure of the most renowned guitarist of the era and to the nomadic environment in which he grew up, that would inspire the expression of his talent. (by Andrei Rus)

Being Gypsy

The first shots show Roma portraits done in somber charcoal by Otto Pankok, whose work was declared “degenerate” art as soon as Adolf Hitler’s regime took power. Using as a starting point the commonalities of Nazi victims, Peter Nestler, one of the most important figures of German documentary filmmaking from the second half of the 20th century, starts out to trace the history of anti-Gypsism in Germany. In this documentary made during Nestler’s Swedish exile with his wife and co-author Zsóka Nestler, survivor testimonies and expert interviews, which Nestler brought forth in the middle of the public debate on denazification in Germany, serve as an indictment of the recent past, as a springboard for exploring the long history of persecution, isolation, and dehumanization of Roma, as well as evidence of the continuity between the deeds of the past and the present plight of the Roma in Europe. A somber, necessary film that is unfortunately prophetic for what followed after 1970. (by Mona Nicoară)

Festivals and awards:

  • États généraux du film documentaire, Lussas (France) 2017

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