“You cannot walk straight
when the road bends...”
- Romani proverb
Shot by legendary cinematographer Albert Maysles, this dynamic musical documentary follows five Gypsy bands from four countries who unite for the Gypsy Caravan as they take their show around North America for a six-week tour, astounding every audience they meet. Their musical styles range from flamenco to brass band, Romanian violin to Indian folk. And with humor and soul in their voices, they celebrate the best in Gypsy culture and the diversity of the Romani people in an explosion of song and dance.
As the film follows the amazing performances and behind-the-scenes action from the tour created by World Music Institute, we discover the real lives of these musicians. We visit Macedonia, Romania, India and Spain, meet their families and see what music brings to their lives. The tales of these characters are woven between their performances - allowing us to understand and celebrate Romani culture and the prejudice of their shared ancestry.
The "Gypsy Caravan" tour extravaganza features performances by Macedonian diva and "Queen of the Gypsies" ESMA REDZEPOVA, traditional Indian folk troupe MAHARAJA, Romanian FANFARE CIOCARLIA, the violin wizardry of Romanian group TARAF DE HAIDOUKS and the ANTONIO EL PIPA FLAMENCO ENSEMBLE.
The sounds of Roma (Gypsy), a culture interminably misunderstood, oppressed and stigmatized, are increasingly heard on the dance floor, and have attracted fans like Johnny Depp, who is in the film. TIME Magazine declares, "Gypsy music is escaping its 'ghetto' in Romania to become a worldwide sensation."
Tribeca Film Festival's Steven Snyder writes, "Given extraordinary access to a world known by few outsiders, Dellal takes full advantage by reaching out to the community's key players, including a violin virtuoso who also must beg for change in order to keep his family afloat." This film is a celebration that will leave your toes tapping, your heart pumping and your soul uplifted by a glorious journey that is the Gypsy Caravan.
"Jasmine Dellal is an epic story-teller who uses time and music like two added dimensions to the sweep of her rich filmic saga. This film tells the story of a people separated by every possible evil of history, yet kept together and nourished by the underground of their music. This is a documentary of the highest order, a profound and insistent work that manages to create suspense, while sounding profound depths of poetry. I cried and I grinned, simultaneously sometimes. She is a great ambassador for the Romani people and for their music. I defy either your feet or your heart to stand still while watching this movie."
- Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator, writer
"Imbued with love and respect for her subject, Jasmine Dellal's film is a joyful celebration of a musical tradition which transcends oppression - a cry from the Romani heart, saturated with longing."
- Sally Potter, filmmaker (Orlando, The Man Who Cried, The Tango Lesson)
"You fall in love with the cast of Gypsy Caravan, their music and wit. It's a visual poem... the celebration of an amazing people."
- Nick Broomfield, filmmaker (Ghosts, Biggie & Tupac, Kurt & Courtney)