Friday, July 19, 2013

Rights Reel: Korkoro

In my last post, Roma 101, I offered some resources for learning about the history and culture of the Roma people to enhance our discussion of Oksana Marafioti's American Gypsy: A Memoir. To shift the focus to human rights-relevant themes in that history, it's important to point out the Roma WWII experience. Under the Nazi regime, German authorities subjected Roma to arbitrary internment, forced labor, and mass murder.  Please visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum site or the Wikipedia page for Porajmos (The Romani term for the Holocaust) to learn more.

Now I know browsing those pages is not how anyone wants to spend their weekend, so what if there was a way to learn about this historical event and in a more personal, relatable way? Sort of a Schindler's List with gypsies? In fact, the French movie by Romani director Tony Gatlif is just the ticket. Inspired by the true life of a Romani who escaped the Nazis with help from French villagers, the film has the same stunning cinematography and rich musical score as Gatlif's Latcho Drom (one of my all time favorite films). You can stream Korkoro here via Amazon or on Netflix. Then check out the film's Wikipedia page to learn the real life basis for the fictional story.

Another film I have not seen but which looks worth seeking out to learn more about the Roma is A People Uncounted. Check out the trailer below:

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