Films: A People Uncounted

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A People Uncounted

A People Uncounted

Canada, 2011, 99 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biographical, Documentary, Historical/Period, Social Issues
Program: Documentary Films
Language: English, Russian, German English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Aaron Yeger
Producer: Marc Swenker, Tom Rasky
Editor: Kurt Engfehr
Screenwriter: Aaron Yeger
Cinematographer: Stephen C. Whitehead
Principal Cast: 

In A People Uncounted, director Aaron Yeger travels to 11 countries to tell the story of the Roma people, a group persecuted throughout history. Also known as Gypsies, the Roma are often stereotyped as a nomadic tribe of thieves and con artists. Through archival footage and in-depth interviews, Yeger shows just how this image has been perpetuated in the media—along with a romanticized mirror image that oversimplifies the Roma’s brilliance as artists, poets, and musicians. (Think Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” and Shakira’s “Gypsy.”)

During the Holocaust, the Nazis murdered approximately 500,000 Roma as part of Hitler’s ethnic-cleansing campaign, comparing them to rats and fleas. Twenty-one thousand died at Auschwitz, and, in 1941, over 90 percent of the Roma population held in Czech concentration camps were killed. In a series of heart-wrenching interviews, survivors describe the atrocities they experienced during World War II. With renewed ethnic intolerance in Europe today, the Roma are once again in danger of deportation and even genocide.

Sound plays a major role in A People Uncounted. An eerie two-and-a-half minute scene features footage of the gas chambers of Auschwitz without narration or music—just haunting sound effects. Otherwise, the soundtrack, composed by Roma jazz pianist Robi Botos, features fellow violinists who dedicate each performance to the commemoration of their past.
—JOEY PORCELLI

Sponsored by Consulate General of Canada in Denver


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