Gypsy Caravan: Romani Musicians Spread Their Joyous Music

Don't wait for Jasmine Dellal's doc to end up broken between pledge-drive pitches: This joyous portrait of the 2001 "Gypsy Caravan" tour—a stateside showcase of Romani musicians representing their culture as splintered across Romania, Macedonia, Spain, and India—deserves to have its brilliant colors, lavish costumes, and vivacious musical numbers seen on the big screen. More than a vibrant experiment in ethno-musical cross-pollination, it's just great fun, tempered by loss but rippling with gusto—and that's even before a climactic appearance by Esma Redzepova, the Macedonian "Queen of the Gypsies" (and you'd dispute her?), an Etta James–meets–Edith Piaf force of nature who displays the performing zest of a Catskills tummler. Legendary documentarian Albert Maysles was one of the cinematographers; watch for the cameo by a Big Hollywood Star, as if his swashbuckling plumage of late and laissez-faire cool hadn't already outed him as a wannabe Rom. JIM RIDLEY

 
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