Most Westerners grew up hearing the word Gypsy, understanding it to portray a colorful sort of people who travel in caravans and read palms. In reality, they are an ethnic group of at least 15 million people, properly called "Romani." They have their own language and government, though no home country. Originally from Northern India, the Romani have spent the last millennium migrating to all parts of the world, eventually assimilating into communities where they feel comfortable. Throughout their history, the Romani have faced the xenophobic, which is among the topics approached in this film.
Tony Gatlif , of Romani ethnicity himself, has directed a film that is part personal journey, part love story and part exposé of a misunderstood people. Gatlif won numerous international awards for this film, which employed only two non-Romani actors.
Gadjo Dilo tells the story of Stephane (Romain Duris), a young Parisian, who travels to Romania in search of a female Gypsy singer who is on a cassette tape his father had given him before he died. Taken under the wing of the constantly intoxicated and overly excited Isidor (Izidor Serban), Stephane is eventually accepted by the Romani community and experiences both their jubilation and tribulation first hand. He also finds that the singer he has been seeking may not be the woman on his father's tape, but an altogether different Gypsy, the unconventional Sabina (Rona Hartner) sitting right next to him. This movie will make you happy and sad, offend and enlighten you, and fill your ears with some of the most unique music in the world.
Note: This is a VHS video, available for in-house use only, except for faculty, graduate and honors students. See the VCU Libraries Borrowing Privileges webpage for details.