Auf Der Kippe (1998)

Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - Germany  |  
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Hannes Hellman narrates this German documentary about Gypsy life in Romania. Romanian-born director Andrei Schwartz, who relocated in West Germany, later came back to the Cluj district, finding a Gypsy settlement at the town dump -- where winter is preferable "because there's no smell." Schwartz captures tensions between the nomads and the Romanians, such as an initial resistance by local authorities to educate Gypsy children. Filming over several seasons, Schwartz documented life amid unsanitary conditions surrounding shantytown huts, where Gypsies are seen smoking, drinking, and dressing up for an excursion to the local cinema to watch their favorites (Jean-Claude Van Damme and Indian musicals). Made with Romanian and German dialogue, this film was shown at the 1998 Vancouver Film Festival.