FILM RESTORED at Deutsche Kinemathek – ERIAC presents: Why Do We Need To Retell The Roma Story Now
Why Do We Need To Retell The Roma Story Now
Thursday, 26 October, 12:00 – Film Restored Festival at Deutsche Kinemathek
Screening of ‘Tradaw’ (2022, Krzysztof Skonieczny) featuring Małgorzata Mirga-Tas and ‘The Gypsy Romani Camp’ (1955, Wladyslaw Ślesicki)
Lecture by Timea Junghaus
ERIAC presents “Why Do We Need To Retell The Roma Story Now” at Film Restored, The Film Heritage Festival, which takes place at the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, between 25-29 October 2023.
‘Absence’, the eighth edition of the Film Restored festival, explores gaps in film history and material, as well as absence as a narrative and aesthetic device.
The screenings of two short movies “Tradaw” and “The Gypsy Romani Camp” will be followed by a lecture by Timea Junghaus, Executive Director of ERIAC. You are invited to join the screenings and the presentation on Thursday, October 26 starting at 12:00.
The presentation itself will use the classic Polish documentary The Gypsy Romani Camp by Wladyslaw Ślesicki to reflect on the stereotypical and racist depictions of Roma in (Polish) films. Using Ślesicki’s movie as a point of departure and juxtaposing the representation of Roma created by a non-Roma director with the new vision showcasing Roma artist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, the presentation will focus on the absence of Roma-owned and Roma-endorsed cinematic representation.
The film ‘Tradaw’ (PL 2022), directed by Krzysztof Skonieczny and featuring Roma artist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, is a cinematic response to its predecessor ‘The Gypsy ROMANI Camp’ (PL 1955) by the renowned Polish documentary filmmaker, Władysław Ślesicki. The latter is a propagandist work about a Roma guitar player that perpetuates various Roma stereotypes and is told by an unknown narrator. Mirga-Tas’ iteration, told in a combination of Polish and Romani, takes a very different approach: she is both the narrator and protagonist of her own story, and, by extension, she symbolically helps the guitar-playing protagonist regain his voice. The presentation juxtaposes Władysław Ślesicki’s documentary – a Roma representation by a non-Roma male director – with a new vision created by Roma artist Mirga-Tas. The focus is on the absence of Roma-owned and Roma-endorsed cinematic representation.
Movie stills from ‘TRADAW’, Courtesy of the artists
TRADAW | Exhibition “Travelling Images. Małgorzata Mirga-Tas”
at International Cultural Centre in Cracow (MCK Kraków)
curated by: Natalia Żak & Wojciech Szymański
film directed by: Krzysztof Skonieczny / głębokiOFF
starring: Małgorzata Mirga-Tas
cinematography: Adam Pietkiewicz
music: Piotr Szubert (Sinto Valentin)
edit: Sebastian Mialik, Krzysztof Skonieczny
sound: Bartez Putkiewicz
grading: Szymon Kraszewski / Lunapark Motion Arts Collective
typography: Tomek Kudlak
production: głębokiOFF (2022) for International Cultural Centre in Cracow (MCK Kraków)
THE GIPSY ROMANI CAMP
Jedzie tabor, The Gipsy Romani Camp is a documentary showing a day from the life of a young Roma man called Jasha. While we follow his whereabouts exploring Cracow and discovering that some of the fellow Roma have settled in town, the narrator’s voice provides a racist interpretation of the traditional Roma lifestyle in the post-war period in Poland. The story is told exclusively from the perspective of a white subject with depictions of Roma life- both in the traditional camp and its modernized version in the city – without granting the possibility for the Roma subjects to speak for themselves.
Movie stills from Jedzie tabor, Courtesy of The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz
original title: Jedzie tabor
english title: The Gypsy Romani Camp
director: Wladyslaw Slesicki
year of production:1955
country of production: Poland
original format: 35mm
copyrights: Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, TV i Teatralna im. L. Schillera w Łodzi | The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz
As a courtesy of the artist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas and the director Krzysztof Skonieczny, ‘TRADAW’ is available to watch online with free access until 31 October 2023.
We are thankful to Krzysztof Skonieczny / głębokiOFF and Małgorzata Mirga-Tas as well as to The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz for the partnership and collaboration manifested in the framework of the Film Restored Festival.
Photo credits: Kornél Szilágyi
You may consult the entire program of the Film Restored Festival here.