Roma have always to spoken filmmaker. What is there not to like? Here you get the chance to go the whole hog as far as anyone in the social realism without anyone complaining – we all know that the Roma have it too damn. Not to speak about the capsizing the other way – the romantic, the outdoors and wildlife. The term magic realism could have been invented for the subject. Just ask Emir Kusturica.
But the development of the conversation and the knowledge of Roma going on in today’s Swedish society appears now also on film: Lawen Mohtadis and Gellert Tamas documentary “Taikon” of course. Jonas Selberg Augustséns upcoming feature film “Sophelikoptern” is a road movie on the Romani language. In Europe the trend is equally evident, albeit more like act of resistance: Radu Jude’s Romanian Silver Bear winner “Aferim!” Depicts 1800s slave system in Romania, “The Way Out” which swept clean on the Czech Guldbaggegalan, is a painful drama about the situation of the country Roma. So you can continue – this year alone.
The Polish film “Bronisława Wajs – the Roma anthem” is a more classic contributions. A biographical history of Epic frame that extends over a large part of the 1900s. Bronisława Wajs, “doll”, or Bronisława Wajs as she was called, was probably the first published Roma woman.
I write with intentionally “published”, because the story of Bronisława Wajs is as much a film about interaction between Roma and majority society, as an exceptionally talented woman. Such was before the establishment decided that it could market a “natural voice”. Born in a traveling life in 1908, unhappily married to the much older harpist Dionizy Wais, she spent the first 40 years of his life as a nomad. She learned to read and write by replacing chickens for lessons in the villages and wrote sweeping poetry – in the film enters the front of the musical settings – as Roma interpreted as the desire for life on the road, and (as the film emphasizes) by other seen as a longing to leave the nomadic life.
The principal exponent of the latter interpretation was the poet Jerzy Ficowski, who spent a few years of traveling Roma. The film revolves much around Ficowskis (Pawlicki) relative to Bronisława Wajs (Budnik); how he encourages writing, translating poems and make Bronisława Wajs a famous poet. But an accompanying book, also brought the Roma hot against her, because its Romany dictionary was considered revealing secrets to the world. The film depicts Papuszas growing unrest and isolation, and opens the what it can mean ending up in a situation between two worlds. Katarina Taikon and several other destinies shows that she was not alone on this.
However, close to the woman that is the focus of this film we will never. “Papuszas” virtue is possibly like a picture of Roma life in the Polish 1900s history, a particularly bad time to be considered a “deviant elements.” The war and the Holocaust depicted only in a snippet, but the Communist era until Papuszas death in 1987 ends the more in focus. In the first of a series of harsh assimilation laws that would sweep across the Eastern bloc, the Roma were ordered in 1952 to cease their itinerant lifestyle. They were registered, had identity documents and ended up not infrequently as cannon fodder in the most mechanical jobs at the bottom of the plant floor. But the children also got to start school.
Informative and beautiful when it’s best conveys the film including the external community pressure. Unfortunately, it is also a confusing story that gives the impression that by necessity have been cut down for about an hour. Here are alluring black and white photo of the sjaviga environments Roma ended up in after the forced settlements, but also theatrical scenography taken from a 1950s movie. Then step “Bronisława Wajs” out of the smoke, the fights and the wagons with the same subtlety as when Pluralist visksjunger of “gypsy Jacko”.