I have been trying to track down this film for years and years, it’s so hard to get hold of in the United States. I want to share it with you, it’s a beautiful treasure.
The Cannes Film Festival star, Latcho Drom, (meaning Safe Journey) is a timeless and soulful piece of cinema that will move you. If you love music, dance, culture, world travel, history, and-or gypsies, you’ll love this.
The 1993 French documentary is directed and written by Tony Gatlif, of Romani gypsy decent himself, about Rom people and their music.
This is an astonishing film. It takes the viewer on the same path travelled by the gypsies themselves a thousand years ago, from India to Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, France, and finally Spain—where the stunning beauty and intensity of gypsy flamenco dance and music will hold you spellbound.
“The cinematography, the editing, the recording—everything about Latcho Drom is extremely well done. And the people are compelling, intense, and beautiful, too,” writes on Amazong reviewer.
There is no dialog or narration however.
The song lyrics, the language of the dances, and the unforgettable faces of the gypsies themselves tell the story.
“You’ll feel like you’ve been given a brief but magical tour of a mysterious, rarely seen world. Gypsies have always been persecuted and ostracized; this film, made by one of their own, gives them a voice in their own language,” wrote another Amazon reviewer.
It’s not available on Netflix, and this Youtube video drastically cuts the quality. If you like what you see, you can buy Latcho Drom on DVD from Amazon. It’d make a great gift.
For a great in-depth article about the plight of this film, the director, and the Gypsy people and their global culture, read “Gypsy Melody,” published in 1995 when the film was making the rounds at film festivals around the globe.
This is an astonishing film. It takes us on the same path travelled by gypsies themselves a thousand years ago.