Created for a project exploring sound design for moving image, this short video briefly covers the perception of Anglo-Romanies in contemporary England and the balance between social integration and losing their cultural identity.
Inspired by the ethno-musicology of "Latcho Drom" by Tony Gatlif, and the autobiographical nature of "Angelo My Love" directed by Robert Duvall, and following in the path of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's "Großstadtzigeuner", I have made this short film to document my perspectives of Anglo-Romany culture growing up.
My personal feeling is that against the strong historical connections portrayed by Romanies across America and the rest of Europe, and against the glamorous appeal of that other "gypsy" line, modern Irish Travellers, Anglo-Romanies are one of Britain's most misrepresented minorities.
I started out seeking to do what Moholy-Nagy did in 1932; document every aspect of Romany life (but those specifically in England and Wales) including the customs, language, and music, and lack of all three. I also wanted to demonstrate the love for family, the violence, and persecution felt in common with Romanies in other countries. Following an interview among family, however, the film became a way of documenting the state and decline of Anglo-Romany lifestyles today.
"Mandi Velled to Puv the Gry" - Performed by myself, is the extent of Romany music known to most in Britain today.
"Don't Be Cruel" - Performed by Robert Stewart, demonstrates the long-term enthusiasm for mixing of cultures often missed in media portrayals of Romanies.
"Jelem Jelem" - Performed by myself, is the national anthem of Romanies, and is set against the demise of cultural identity taking place in the country today.
Poetry comes from "Hidy-Hole and the Inner Sanctum" by Andrew Kötting, which ponders the nature of "home", and whose film style had a big influence on some of my editing choices.
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