28 Jan, 2009

Latcho Drom – “I’m a black bird who has taken flight”

Posted by: Redaktion In: Movies

Through all times Sinti and Roma have been famous for their musical talent and their fascinating, colourful music culture.

Sources from medieval Germany convey, that they have been esteemed as musical instrument makers and musicians on the court of king Sigismund in the 15. century. But the scources convey as well, that already by then Sinti and Roma had to be protected from assaults by a decree.


Throughout the centuries the music of the Sinti and Roma has developed a great number of different styles, which have their rootes in uncountable places of the world. The restless wandering of the Roma peoples began in the northwest of India, leades them till Turkey and to Egypt, through the countries of the Balkan until Central Europe and further to France till Spain.

The movie Latcho Drom (Save journey) illustrates the homelessness of Sinti and Roma in a haunting and honest way. Music and dance, that accomany those folks in their journey, are playing a central role in this movie. Almost occasionally people explore and absorb new musical elements on their way. 

Capturing scenes in the movie form the music of the manganiyar singer Talab Khan, the romanian group Taraf de Haidouks, the song “Auschwitz” recorded in slovakia sung by Margita Makulova who has survived the holocaust and gypsy jazz guitarists Dorado and Tchavolo Schmitt.

One of the highlights is the closing scene performed by La Caíta (Maria del Carmen Salazar). The lyrics of this moving furious song “Pájaro negro” (Blackbird) say “You, You’re a stork who has landed on Earth. Me, I’m a black bird who has taken flight”. [see

The movie Latcho Drom is the second production of Tony Gatlif in a trilogy on the Roma people. It was preceded by „Les Princes“ (1983) and followed by „Gadjo dilo“ (1997).

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