Caught between the rejection of individuals and the acceptance of their culture, the Roma citizens are both discriminated against and cherished in the Romanian society: their ‘gypsy’ music, rituals, ways of dressing cannot but inspire and attract for their sense of joyfulness, freedom and creativeness.
In fact, the issue of the integration of the Roma people in the Romanian society is a very long story, here we chose to get only to Clejani, a small village in the South of Bucharest, where the amazing adventure of a group of Roma musicians, lautarii din Clejani, started some twenty years ago taking them across Western Europe and the USA. Johnny Depp having had also his minor role at it.
Two documentaries produced in 2001 tell the same story in slightly different ways. Taraf De Haïdouks – No Man Is A Prophet In His Own Land is directed by Elsa Dahmani, features English subtitles and is meant for an international audience. Lăutarii din Clejani – povestea ultimei generații is directed by Mihai Voinea and Alex Varninschi, produced by the newspaper group Gandul and speaks to the Romanian audience. Both provide a mine of information about the Lăutarii, a rich tradition of Roma musicians that contributed to flavor the lives of so many Romanians and that the impact of globalization is now threatening to force to silence for good.