27 March 2010

Liberté

Last night was another cinéma night . . . the little ciné here in our dot on the map Massy, had a special showing of the French film Liberté that was released last month.  Following the film, there was a question and answer time with the film's réalisateur (or director), Tony Gatlif.

The film, set in the midst of the Second World War, tells the story of a family of Tsiganes, or Gypsies, and some folks they meet along their way.  The film weaves a tale that is vibrantly colored with insights into a rich culture and unique way of life that is still found throughout Europe (in fact, we recently had a whole neighborhood of Tsiganes living in our public park!).  And the soundtrack alone would make this film a must-see!


The story brings to light the plight of the second largest population of European victims of the Nazi's extermination efforts.  When the camp register was found and published, it was discovered that there had been ~23,000 Tsigane people killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau alone.

The discussion after the film was very interesting.  There was a woman in the audience who shared her mother's experience as a Tsigane woman living during this time.  There was discussion of the rights of the Tsigane to continue in their nomadic way of life here in France.  There was vocalization of dissatisfaction with the way the government of Massy had chartered two airplanes to send the community that had been living in our park back to Romania . . . along with a rebuttal of the other opinion.

So, here's another French film worth seeing . . . another one that steps out of the stereotype of French cinema.  If it makes it way to your neck of the woods, go see it!

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