Tony Gatlif:Retrospective of the 51st Hof International Film Festival

The retrospective of the 51st Hof International Film Festival will be dedicated to the French director, screenwriter and composer Tony Gatlif. Gatlif gained notoriety through such films as VENGO (2000), EXILES (2004), TRANSYLVANIA (2006), and GERONIMO (2014). His films deal with the Sinti and Roma, their persecution and social marginalization. “The Roma should be left alone and given the opportunity to earn enough to live, like all other Europeans, and we should end our prejudices,” says Tony Gatlif. Music also plays a significant role in his films, not only the Rembetiko, but especially gypsy music, not least because of his own heritage.

Tony Gatlif was born in 1948 in Algeria. His mother was Romani, his father Kabyle, an Algerian Berber. Both cultures influence his film work to this day and are the driving force behind his films. In the 1960s Gatlif went to France, where he still lives today. His films have been invited to numerous festivals, including Cannes, where he won the Best Director prize for EXILES in 2004. In 2011, he was awarded the Prix Henri-Langlois for Humanity and Commitment. In 2016 he won the Human Rights Film Festival Award in San Sebastian.

In Hof, Tony Gatlif will not only present the retrospective, but also his latest film DJAM, together with the leading actress Daphne Patakia (Photo). The young Greek woman Djam is sent by her uncle to Istanbul to get a rare spare part for a boat. In Istanbul she meets the 19-year-old French girl Avril, who came to Turkey to work as a refugee relief worker. But without money and contacts, the young woman is lost. The cheeky, independent, generous and unpredictable Djam takes her under her wing and a journey full of hope and wonderful encounters, great music and the joy of sharing begins. MFA+ will release the film in early 2018 in German cinemas.

The films of the retrospective

Feature film 1983, with Gérard Darmon, Muse Dalbray, Concha Tavora and others.
Nara, a Romani, lives with his daughter Zorka and his old mother in a desolate social estate block on the outskirts of Paris and supports his family with little deals. He recently threw his wife Miralda out of the apartment because he started taking birth control pills against his wishes. But then Miralda’s brothers show up and confront Nara.

Documentary 1993.
Tony Gatlif accompanies the Roma for over a year in different countries, from India to Egypt, and sketches their lives as nomads, their culture, their traditions, their music, and their dances. But it is also a film about their desires and their fight for survival.

Feature film 1997, with Romain Duris, Rona Harter, Izidor Servan and others.
César Award for Best Score 1999.
After the death of his father, the young Parisian Stéphane travels to Romania to find the legendary Romani singer Nora Luca, who his father had told him so much about. One night he meeds the old Izidor, who as the village chief, takes him with him to his village. He is determined to teach the young man proper Romani. And suddenly Stéphane finds his place in this very closed world, one which is characterized by mistrust, and learns the true meaning of tolerance.

Feature film 2000, with Antonio Canales, Antonio Dechent, Bobote and others.
César Award for Best Score 2000.
In the middle of the Moorish, dusty villages of Andalusia, violent family feuds are taking place. Caco, patriarch of the family, cannot get over the death of his daughter. He searches for comfort at wild music festivals, in hot Flamenco rhythms, and in the love for his handicapped nephew. When Caco is supposed to betray his brother to a rival clan, he is faced with an internal conflict.

Feature film 2002, with Oscar Copp, Lou Rech, Tchavolo Schmitt, Mandino Reinhardt and others.
The 10-year-old Max spends his holidays with his grandmother, a sedentary Sinti who lives on the outskirts of Strasbourg. The encounter with the virtuoso guitar player of the Rom Miraldo changes his life.

Feature film 2004, with Romain Duris, Lubna Azabel, Zouhir Gacem and others.
Best Direction Cannes 2004.
Zano and his girlfiend Naima take off to Algeria to get to know their parents’ homeland. With only music in their bags, they wander from one encounter to the next, from techno rhythms to Flamenco, and bit for bit back along the route that the parents of so many of their generation took into exile to the north.

Feature film 2006, with Asia Argento, Amira Cesar, Briol Ünel and others.
The pregnant Zingarina travels with her friend Marie from France to Translyvania to find her boyfriend Milan. When she finds him she is confronted with the fact that he wasn’t actually deported, but actually left her. Zingarina’s journey takes on a different course.

Feature film 2014, with Céline Sallette, Rachid Yous, David Murgia and others.
Geronimo, a young social worker, is trying to settle the tension between two youth gangs in St. Pierre. When a Turkish girl runs off to her Romani boyfriend in order to escape an arranged marriage, the hostility between the two clans surfaces during a music competition.