THE GYPSY IN MY SOUL
MONTREAL FILM FESTIVAL WRAP UP 2009
by Stephen Holt
The lovely, enchanting tr√®s fran√ßais city of Montreal always brings out the gypsy in my soul.
And this year’s Montreal Film Festival was bringing out the Gypsy in everyone’s soul with its top awards-getter “Korkoro” by director Tony Gatliff, whose own Gypsy heritage affirms the film’s authenticity.
The horrifying, heretofore untold story of the systematic annihilation of the Gypsy population by the Nazis in occupied WWII was powerful, poignant and shocking. “Genocide,” Gatliff accurately called it in his acceptance speech, as he was handed his award for the Grand Prix Des Ameriques by Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi.
“The cinema,” he declared in French “is sometimes the advocate for the oppressed.” He said he hoped this award for his heart-rending film “would shine a light on this previous black hole of history.”
“Korkoro” which is the Romani word for “Freedom” also swept the People’s Choice Award and received a special mention in the Palmares by the Ecumenical Jury of the Festival des Films du Monde.