Shot in fittingly expansive CinemaScope across shifting seasons and several continents, Latcho Drom is a Romani epic. The critic Jonathan Rosenbaum once hailed Tony Gatlif’s film as a “difficult-to-categorize masterpiece,” and indeed it slips gracefully past the familiar borders of genre. Here is a movie that is something akin to a musical, a documentary, and a travelogue, yet ultimately advances in an idiom all its own.
WHEN: September 18 | 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
In the event of rain, the screening will take place on September 25 at 7:30 PM.
WHERE: North Meadow at Snug Harbor
ADMISSION: Free | Registration requested
It traces the thousand-year migration of a peripatetic people—its title translates to “Safe Journey”—beginning in India and moving, sequence by sequence, through Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, France, and Spain. Sparingly subtitled and unencumbered by narration or other didactic tropes of nonfiction cinema, this saga is instead expressed via the extraordinary rhythms of Romani music and dance, beating at the heart of every episode, a cavalcade of bangers. These performances serve as a source of continuity, springing forth from shared roots, while also showcasing the diversity of Romani cultural forms, each drawing upon different aspects of their respective settings. Latcho Drom is a work of many moods, though what prevails is an effervescent joy in the face of hardship. “I wanted to make a film that the Roms could be proud of,” the director, an Algerian-born French Romani, once explained, “a film that wouldn’t make a sideshow of their misery. I wanted to write a song of praise to this people I love.”
Light Industry is a W.A.G.E. Certified organization, supported, in part, by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, as well as the Henry Luce Foundation, the Willem de Kooning Foundation, and Teiger Foundation through the Coalition of Small Arts New York. Public assistance is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Snug Harbor arts programming is made possible through generous support from the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.