Saturday, July 10, 2010


Tony Gatlif (born as Michel Dahmani on September 10, 1948 in Algiers, Algeria) is a French film director of 'Gypsy' ethnicity who also works as a screenwriter, composer, actor, and producer.

After a childhood in Algiers, Gatlif arrived in France in 1960 following the Algerian War of Independence. Gatlif struggled for years to break into the film industry, playing in several theatrical productions until directing his first film, La Tête en ruine, in 1975. He followed it with the 1979 La Terre au ventre, a story of the Algerian War of Independence.

Since the 1981 Corre, gitano, Gatlif's work has been focused on the Roma people of Europe, from whom he partially traces his descent.

After making Gaspard et Robinson in 1990, Gatlif spent 1992 and 1993 shooting Latcho Drom, which was awarded numerous prizes. This feature-length musical film, often mislabelled as a documentary, deals with gypsy culture throughout the world around the theme of their music and dance. For Vincent Ostria, then journalist at the Cahiers du Cinéma, it was "the most genuine film of the year (1993 editor's note)." A year later, Gatlif brought the world of the author J. M. G. Le Clézio (pen-name) to the screen in Mondo (1994).

His 2004 film Exils, won the Best Director Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. His film Transylvania also premiered at Cannes in May 2006.


  1. Korkoro (2009)
    ... aka "Freedom" - Canada (English title)
  2. Transylvania (2006)
  3. Exiles (2004)
    ... aka "Exils" - France (original title)
  4. Visions of Europe (2004) (segment "Paris by Night")
  5. Swing (2002/I)
  6. Vengo (2000)
    ... aka "I Come" - USA (festival title)
  7. Je suis né d'une cigogne (1999)
  8. The Crazy Stranger (1997)
    ... aka "Gadjo dilo" - Romania (original title)
  9. Mondo (1995)
  10. Lucumi, l'enfant rumbeiro de Cuba (1995)
  11. Latcho Drom (1993)
  12. Gaspard et Robinson (1990)
  13. Pleure pas my love (1989)
  14. The Way Out (1986)
    ... aka "Rue du Départ" - France (original title)
  15. Les princes (1983)
  16. Corre, gitano (1982)
  17. La terre au ventre (1979)
  18. La tête en ruines (1975)

Description: The film takes the viewer on a journey west, from India to Spain, with stops along the way, to dramatize Romany's nomadic culture. This journey takes place over a year's time, from summer through fall and winter to spring. Gatlif holds his camera on the elemental essentials of this life: water, the wheel, fire, beasts of burden and of sustenance, colorful clothes, jewelry, musical instruments, song, and dance. Throughout, via song and dance, young and old celebrate, embody, and teach the cultural values of family, journey, love, separateness, and persecution. From imdb written by jhailey jhailey@hotmail.com


Synopsis: Is it the kitschy film equivalent of a Keene painting? Or a deeply felt allegory of innocence betrayed by an unfeeling world? Tony Gatlif's film ''Mondo,'' based on a story by J. M. G. Le Clezio, is a gorgeously photographed tear-jerker that hovers on the line between the icky and the profound. At the very least, the movie, which follows the perambulations of a homeless Gypsy boy named Mondo (Ovidiu Balan) through the streets of Nice, France, succeeds in being a ravishing travel brochure for the Mediterranean resort city.
With his trusting brown eyes, tousled hair, and red-hooded sweatshirt, dear little Mondo is the quintessence of ragamuffin adorability drenched in pathos. And when the lost little boy approaches selected strangers and sweetly asks if they would like to adopt him, your heart goes out to him.
On his first night after wandering the streets of Nice, Mondo, whose origins are left unspecified, climbs a tree in an orchard and sleeps until he is awakened by a dogcatcher's truck. Immediately he leaps from his perch and skitters into the darkness like a frightened animal.
For the next week or two, the 10-year-old child roams the city's winding cobblestone streets nimbly foraging for food in outdoor markets, accepting handouts and making friends. Giordan (Maurice Maurin), a kindly fisherman, scratches out the letters of the alphabet on rocks and teaches the illiterate Mondo how to spell his name. Dadi (Jerry Smith), a craggy-faced beggar who carries around a pair of pet doves, tells Mondo stories and introduces him to a street magician (Philippe Petit). In return for collecting coins during outdoor performances, the magician teaches Mondo how to walk a tightwire. After a drenching rainstorm leaves the little waif shivering and feverish, he is sheltered and nursed back to health by Thi-Chin (Pierette Fesch), a wise old Vietnamese woman...


Description: During a Romanian winter, a young Parisian named Stephane arrives in hopes of tracking down a famous folk singer. He becomes the surrogate son of an old drunk, Izidor, and becomes a curiosity to the villagers who name him the "crazy stranger." Speaking only a few words of Romanian, he communicates through a young peasant woman named Sabina. Just when Stephane and Sabine begin to fall in love, things turn nasty with the return of Izidor's son Adriani, a Gypsy Mafioso just out of jail.

Je suis né d'une cigogne (1999) aka Children of the Stork

Description: Acclaimed director Tony Gatlif spins this wildly anarchic tale about three young punks, a bevy of cinematic inside jokes, and a talking stork. Otto and Louna (Romain Duris and Rona Hartner), along with their brainy pal Ali (Ouassini Embarek), rescue a wounded stork who turns out to be an illegal immigrant and a deserter from the Algerian army. The car-thieving, gun-toting crew helps the bird to freedom while rubber-stamping new films with such epithets as "tripe" and shooting someone for insulting the good name of Jean Vigo.

Vengo (2000) aka I Come

Caco is a proud, handsome man, head of a family, and very powerful in the local community. Yet he has been torn to pieces by the death of his beloved daughter. He constantly visits her grave, weeps silently at her photo and has transferred all his wildly protective love and attention onto his mentally challenged nephew, Diego. It seems that Diego's father, Caco's brother, is in hiding after having killed a man from the Caravaca family, who are equally powerful in the community. They are looking for vengeance and have come to Caco for justice. When he refuses to betray his brother, the Caravacas grow impatient. When they realize they are getting nowhere, they threaten to kill Diego. Despite his fierce pride, Caco eventually realizes that the cycle of killing and revenge must be broken. But how can he achieve this and protect everyone he loves?


Max is on holiday at his grandmother's place in the Elzas in France. He's fascinated by the guitarplay of gipsy Miraldo. For writing letters to the social security institutes he gets guitarlessons from Miraldo. He becomes friends with Swing, a boyish gipsygirl, who shows him the nature and takes him to exuberant mucic evenings


Twenty-five countries, twenty-five visions from respected film directors from each of the respective countries that form the enlarged European Community. Each director would be asked to give a personal vision of current or future life in this coming cultural melting pot.The length of each film was set to five minutes.The initial idea came from commissioning editor Meinolf Zurhorst from ZDF- Germany/ARTE - France and the project was then conceived together with producer Mikael Olsen from the film production company Zentropa from Denmark.


French-Algerian filmmaker Tony Gatlif wrote and directed this tale of a voyage of unexpected discoveries. Zano (Romain Duris) and Naima (Lubna Azabal) are a pair of footloose bohemian lovers living in Paris who decide to pull up roots and travel to Algeria, even though they don't know the language and are unfamiliar with the cultural traditions. Zano and Naima take the scenic route, traveling from town to town along the way by train, by bus or by foot, depending on their mood and financial circumstances, and en route they encounter Leila (Leila Makhlouf) and Habib (Habib Cheik), an Algerian couple traveling to France. While amused by Zano and Naima's naiveté, Leila gives them a letter of introduction to her family, and after a long journey they eventually arrive in Algeria and are befriended by Leila's brother Said (Zouhir Gacem). With Said in tow, Zano and Naima explore the city and at once discover a land that fascinates them even as they realize just how far away from its culture they truly are.
Exils was screened in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

Transylvania (2006)

When impulsive dervish Zingarina (Asia Argento) arrives in the mysterious backwaters of Transylvania, she has but one thing on her mind: to find her long-lost lover and travelling musician, Milan (Marco Castoldi, singer in Italian glam rock group Bluvertigo). After trawling the various clubs and bars with her friend Marie (Amira Casar, The Last Mistress), she eventually finds him, only for Milan to reject her. Totally distraught, Zingarina cuts herself loose from Marie, her belongings and everything she holds dear before stumbling into a series of events and encounters that threaten to send her spiralling over the edge of sanity. Plunged into the confetti, drunken revelry and thrumming festivities of a Romany carnival, she emerges in a daze only to be lured ever deeper into the rolling hills of the Romanian countryside. It is here that she meets the enigmatic Tchangalo (Birol Unel), a travelling trader who takes Zingarina under his wing. Together they embark on a chaotic road trip upon which they indulge in wild bouts of gypsy folk dance, cutthroat roadside bartering and long nights of heady passion.

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