DER Documentary

Roma Stories (Japigia Gagė)

Roma Stories (Japigia GagÌ)

by Giovanni Princigalli
color, 59 min, 2003

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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In Japigia, a neighborhood in the periphery of Bari, Italy, a small community of Roma (Gypsies) carve out an existence in an illegal, ramshackle encampment. The local church has offered them a piece of land with prefabricated houses, but the town hall is preventing this offer due to their own plans for a future a railway station. Continually in danger of evacuation and making a living primarily by begging for money, the Roma still manage to foster a strong community and lively social atmosphere.

Living for a one year within the community, the filmmakers extract both the emotional and anthropological details from this vibrant microcosm which remains largely hidden and ignored by its own city. Seventeen-year-old Dorina is released from an institute for minors and soon married amid much negotiating and festivities. Dainef waits for the arrival of his daughter from Romania. Young Aida dreams of becoming a model, and eleven-year-old Laura would rather go beg with her mother than go to school. Aida is taken away by Serbian Roma, and her father must decide how to take action. And throughout are the songs which were written over the course of the filming - poetic illustrations of their lives and problems on a contentious and desolate land, but a still a land where one is born, grows up, and dreams.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival, Taiwan, 2013
Second Prize, International Art Gispy Competition of Lanciano, 2003
Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, Canton, China, 2003
Documentary & Ethnographic Film Festival of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2003
First Documentary Film Festival of Le Mans, France, 2003
Week Against Racism, Cinémathèque québécoise, Quebec, Canada, 2003
Anthropological Visual Congress of University of Montreal, 2003
“Ethnographica” Section, Festival Internazioanle del Film di Potenza, Italy, 2004
Northeast Anthropological Association Conference, University of Vermont, 2004
Nafa Film Festival, Estonian National Museum, 2004
Singapore International Documentary Film Festival, 2004
Society for Visual Anthropology/American Anthropological Association Conference, San Francisco, 2004
International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Scotland, 2004
Fourth Festival of Visual Culture, Finland, 2004
Mediterraneo Video Festival, Italy, 2004
Semi-finalist, ANONIMUL International Film Festival, Romania, 2004
Insituto Italiano di Cultura in San Francisco, 2004
Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest, 2004
Sasä International Film Awards, Italy, 2004
Interuniversity Ethnographic Film Festival of Montreal, 2005
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TV Broadcasts
Community Channel, UK, 2013

Related Films
Everyday Life of Roma Children from Block 71
Opre Roma: Gypsies in Canada
T'an Bahktale: Roma (Gypsies) In Russia

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts