Thursday, 1 May 2008

Gateway of the Gypsies


Here is a trailer for "Jaisalmer Ayo! Gateway of the Gypsies" (2004), a 54-minute piece by documentarians Melitta Tchaicovsky and Pepe Ozan. The documentary follows nomadic castes in India. The trailer's soundtrack is of a Rebari song. I really like this type of song and music...Regrettably, I don't understand any of the words but I'd like to think that it's all about chivalry, heroism and bravery. Many wandering minstrels can be seen during the Pushkar fair, where they perform similar songs.

Melitta Tchaicovsky and Pepe Ozan spent seven months traveling with members of nomadic castes in Rajasthan, in northwest India, filming as they trekked to the capital, Jaisalmer, a 12th-century fort city on the edge of the Thar Desert. The documentary is an exploration of the challenges these people face, as well as the ethnic and cultural link between these Indian nomads and the Romany peoples of Europe and around the world.

This reminds me of Robyn Davidson, the Australian woman who lived with the nomadic Rebari tribes of Rajasthan. She wrote a book of her experiences titled "Desert Places". A brief review of the book is here