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Latcho Drom (1993)

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

Price: $29.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungry, France & Spain Gypsy Musicians of India
  • Directors: Tony Gatlif
  • Producers: Michele Ray for K.G. Productions
  • Format: NTSC, Import, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English, Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005F9T674
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,384 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The film takes the viewer on a journey west, from India to Spain, with stops along the way, to dramatize Romany's nomadic culture. This journey takes place over a year's time, from summer through fall and winter to spring. Gatlif holds his camera on the elemental essentials of this life: water, the wheel, fire, beasts of burden and of sustenance, colorful clothes, jewelry, musical instruments, song, and dance. Throughout, via song and dance, young and old celebrate, embody, and teach the cultural values of family, journey, love, separateness, and persecution.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, historical and current December 20, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This is an astonishing film. It traces the Rom people from India to Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, France and Spain, through their music and dance. There is very little dialogue, and little explanation, except at the film's beginning, which briefly states that the Rom left India hundreds of years ago and made their way north, for reasons now unclear.

Further explanation is not really needed, however, as one can see for oneself the poverty, misery, and oppression that the Rom suffer worldwide, to this day. In one particularly poignant cut, an elderly Rom woman sings about Auschwitz. "In Auschwitz we had no bread," she sings. "The kapos were so cruel." She holds a small photograph, perhaps of her father or husband who perished, and one sees the number tattooed on her arm. Other songs remark upon the Roma's constant flight from hatred and oppression. One sees, here, in this film, as they are chased from camp sites, forced to move their caravans.

In the closing segment, a family is chased from abandoned buildings in which they had been squatting. They sing as the doors and windows are bricked up, and the police arrive. "Why does your evil mouth spit on me?" a chanteuse wails, in the same style and strain of music one had heard from her Roma compatriots at the film's beginning, in India. "Why do you treat me like a dog?"

Most remarkably, however, this film juxtaposes the Roma's dignity with their suffering. We see, firsthand, their poverty, the social ostracism they face ubiquitously. Yet we also see their ingrained joy of living, their indomitable spirit. The film provides a magnificent, delightful musical display of multi-lingual Rom genius, recounting in song and dance their history and the extent of their travels.

It is a gift to--and from--the Rom, to all humanity.

--Alyssa A. Lappen
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant beyond compare March 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
The best music movie I have ever seen. I've seen it 5 times (twice in the theater the first weekend it was in town), I own a copy, and I know I will watch it over and over for the rest of my life--and I am not often given to such excessive emotion or fanaticism about a movie. Latcho Drom helped me develop a new appreciation for the Rom people, and *all* the musical performances in the film--as varied as they are--connect with feelings so elemental and moving that it is hard to describe. The cinematography, the editing, the recording--everything about Latcho Drom is extremely well done. And the people are compelling, intense, and beautiful, too. See this movie. You will be enriched. (I must inform you that there are other more affordable sources for the video. Look around.) It may also be in your local video rental store. If not, convince somebody at a local college or museum to bring it to their film series. You must find a way to see it. You won't regret it! And while you're at it, look for Tony Gatlif's other films, which are also well worth your while.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling glimpse into a hidden world September 26, 1998
By strega2
Format:VHS Tape
If you've ever been interested in learning about Gypsy (or more accurately, Rom) culture and history, this is the film for you.Made by Tony Catlif, himself a Rom, the film (the title means "Safe Journey," a serious blessing in this culture) takes the viewer on the same path travelled by the gypsies themselves a thousand years ago. It begins in India, showing a gypsy band in a desolate spot, telling their own story in dance and song. He travels ever westward, through Egypt, Turkey, Eastern Europe, France, and finally Spain, where the stunning beauty of gypsy flamenco dance and music will hold you spellbound. There is no dialog: Catlif lets the lyrics of the songs, 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. END
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning July 12, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The film Latcho Drom is a unique product, which is more like a 2 hour long music video, showcasing gypsy music (and sometimes dance) from all around the world. This is an amazing way of seeing the common treads that unite Roma (or gypsy) culture in all parts of the world, but also how these people have adapted to their surrounding by adopting bits and pieces of local traditions. This is also finally, a positive and maybe even objective look into Roma culture, free of stereotypes and prejudice. For fans of "Deep Forest", one of the songs from the film, the one from Slovakia, was sampled for one of their pieces on "Boheme." This film has rapid beats and heel-taping rythms, but also sad and melancholic songs and laments. Some images will make you want to get up and dance, while other can move you to tears, for example the old Roma lady singing about gypsy persecution at Auschwitz during WWII. A true pleasure to watch and listen to. I just hope there would now be a Latcho Drom 2 to explore the other regions of the world where Roma culture flourishes, but which were not included in the film.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel with the Rom March 12, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Latcho Drom ("safe journey") is a visually stunning video, with nice camera-work, and the sound quality is excellent. My only complaint is that the translations/subtitles are not very thorough.
This is a fabulous journey with groups of Gypsies throughout the Middle East and Europe. A truly outstanding documentary that I highly recommend -- but it's more about visuals than about words. Writer/director Tony Gatlif, who is descended from the Rom himself, has created a memorable and poignant film in Latcho Drom. It won at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993 (the Prix Gervais, specifically). In this film, you travel with various groups of Gypsies through Rajasthan, Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, France and Spain.
There's no dialog, and the songs these Gypsies sing are only partially translated. It's a "fly on the wall" experience, where the images speak for themselves. You will watch the joy, the pain, and the hardship of these people, all under the unblinking eye of the camera.
I think it will stay with you long after the movie ends, and as many times as I have watched this, it never fails to move me. It's a marvelous film, that probably could never have been made if Gatlif was not of the Romany people himself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST IN ANYONE'S DVD LIBRARY
Always loved this extremely well done documetary Finally avlb looked for it for years
Done with the utmost sensitivity for the Roma people who have been forced to
endure... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Latcho Drom
Unfortuneately, the copy sent was defective and I had to return it. I wished another could be sent that I could trust would
work. That's the problem with Amazon.... Read more
Published 4 months ago by talulah
5.0 out of 5 stars Reaching through History
Colorful, exciting and full of surprises, Latcho Drom ranges across the continents and the centuries to bring us the spirit of the Rom people, their music and dance. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Julia Lynam
4.0 out of 5 stars OK
It's a Korean product, so you have to deliberately choose English subtitles, and the menu steps to get there and navigate around the video are not altogether intuitive. Read more
Published 8 months ago by D. C. Price
4.0 out of 5 stars Art and Exile
Throughout watching the film "Latcho Drom" the audience can get a feel for the history and importance of culture these nomads had. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jesus Santos
5.0 out of 5 stars Region 3
Incredible film but being a DVD with region 3, I could only play it on a computer. That was very disappointing.
Published 8 months ago by R. M. Glass
4.0 out of 5 stars Art and Exile
It was hard to tell whether Latcho Drom was trying to tell a fictional narrative, or simply offer a window into the lives of the Romani exiles, who are often dismissed as petty... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Matthew Goode
5.0 out of 5 stars Exile of the Roma
The film Latcho Drom depicts the life of the traveling Roma all over Europe. The Roma are a traveling people who perform for a living, even though their style of living leaves them... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Frank Dapolito
5.0 out of 5 stars Art and Exile
Before watching Lacho Drom I was not ready to watch such a unique “different” type of film that portrayed the life of the gypsies and their culture. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mark F. Garofalo
4.0 out of 5 stars Exile and Roma
Latcho Drom tells the story of the Roma people and their journey as people and a community. It shows their progression from from north-west India to Spain covering areas between... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pamela
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