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Gypsy documentaries - Film When the Road Bends, Tales of a Gypsy Caravan - World Music Documentary Film
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09/17/2010

The Power of the Word... Szekszard Prison [Hungary]

Jasmine: This story makes me feel strangely proud. If authorities feel threatened by talk, then it proves that talking works. It has the power to open our minds. This film is not overtly political, and our conversations afterwards seem quite benign: What would you do if you had money and power to make changes for Roma? What would improve life for your friends and family? Are you proud of your ethnicity, or ashamed, and why?...

If these discussions are too political, then it just shows me how necessary they are!

Ella:... What can we do with Gypsy Caravan? Is talk really dangerous?
Well, today, more screenings and talks: at a school, a prison, and now at a festival. In prison I asked various questions as usual. When we got to the political climate, the 4 wardens or councilors all tried to stop the talk. oh, its time for lunch. Lady, lunch is at 11.30, we still have 15 minutes to go - I intend to use it. No, but we can only talk about music. I am sorry, but this cannot be so. We brought this film to help change by making people think about the situation here... The prisoners wanted to talk, but it went nowhere with the nasty looks from the wardens. I asked the one who walked me out if this is a prison rule? Why cant the inmates talk politics? I understand they do not have the right to vote, but this is just freedom of speech, you pushed your fist straight in their mouths, in my mouth right under my eyes. What is going on here? No answer. Just assurances that they will show the film as many times as they can. and chat about music... One hour later, there was a call from the press office of the ministry that gave us permission to enter prisons. The lady left a message saying that someone complained I talked politics and if I didnt stop it immediately, they would deny all further prison access. I am thinking about the pros and cons, should I fight for freedom of speech and thus lose the opportunity to show the film, or should I tiptoe in fear and show the film and talk about music....?


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