KET hosts the “Roma Stories” section of the 5th Balkan Can Kino Film Symposium.
From the Second World War to the modern crisis in Kosovo or the recent murder of Nikos Sampanis, Gypsies or Roma, members of the most numerous minority on the European continent, have faced and continue to face extreme racist prejudice and attacks because of their lifestyle and culture. In Greece, their population is 200,000, according to government figures, or 350,000 people, according to the Helsinki Greek Observatory. Although they have been living in Greece for about 600 years, the majority of the country’s inhabitants continue to ignore them.
In cinema, they are usually represented as exotic, mysterious, passionate beings. Many films focus on their delinquency or “carefree” lives, reinforcing stereotypes and depriving them of the right to be heard in their own voices. During the festival, a selection of short documentaries will be screened in which Roma talk about themselves, their common problems and the challenges they face. After the screenings, there will be a discussion with the President of the Association of Greek Roma Mediators and their Associates, Kostas Paiteris.
Programme (total duration 140′):
The Gypsy and the death (David Lužar, Slovenia, 2019, 20’)
Osman lived a long and adventurous life. One night, while preparing for bed, he is visited by Mrs. Death…
Active (citizen) (Piotr Goldstein, Jan Lorenz, Serbia, 2020, 30’)
An intimate look at the life and work of a Roma refugee from Kosovo who collects garbage on the streets of Novi Sad, Serbia. “Active Citizen” is a visual ethnography that focuses on the material and sensory realities of the protagonist’s work and their political and social significance – everyday activism beyond the perspective of public recognition.
Music is my life (Alex Djordjevic, USA, 2019, 25’)
Among the 2,500 Roma living in Vladincin Han (south-east Serbia), only ten are currently working, despite the help of some charities. What will be the future for the youth of the community? And what is the role of music, which has always played an important role in the community – sometimes in the absence of any other way of survival?
My gypsy road (Vilma Kartalska, Bulgaria, 2020, 27’)
Daily challenges and sacrifices in the name of theatre, struggle, education… The film tells the story of Natalia Chekova, a graduate of the National Academy of Theatre and Fine Arts, the first Roma actress in Bulgaria.
Sam Roma (Marina Danezi, Greece, 2014, 39’)
“We are a bit of everything. Anything you can find. As you human beings, we are capable from the worst to the best.” Marina Danezi’s documentary introduces audiences to an ancient, nomadic people who walk the line of legitimacy, social acceptance and marginalization.