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Gypsy documentaries - Film When the Road Bends, Tales of a Gypsy Caravan - World Music Documentary Film
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08/18/2010

Citrom - Lemon Life

Ella...We showed our film in the Gypsy ghetto, placed in the historical millionaires district, where the military generals and officers used to live.   The housing is converted stables. They had a social services center with after school teaching staff. Kids cram for a high school exam they failed before.  Some call the ghetto the Citrom/ Lemon, because life is sour there.  Teenage pregnancy, young mothers who live on the welfare money they get for their 3, 4 kids. Rampant prostitution.   High rates of criminality.   Anyone who moves in here never gets out.
 
Yet, I met two people with different tales: one, the patriarch of a 30 person family who migrated to Canada and then - upon reassuring promises by the new president, Orban Viktor - returned to Hungary since they all feel that they are Hungarian citizens first of all, not Gypsies, a refrain I hear often. Anyway, they returned only to find themselves homeless.   The other startling case was an alcoholic painter, with large eyes, skin and bones, toothless, his feet and toenails dark in repulsive misery. Documentaries have been made about his life but he has never seen them. Today, all was fine with him, he was on his way to an arts retreat on Lake Balaton.    He said that he paints in two styles: the fiery Gypsy beauties and wagons and campfires that people commission him for; and much darker images for his own soul.

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