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06/18/2007

Lyon - Le Peuple Tsigane


Lyon. 2nd biggest city in France. It's raining cats and dogs. Is there such a thing as chance? Directly across the street from the cinema is the opening of an exhibition "Le Peuple Tsigane" - it's in Klaus Barby's old headquarters which has become a museum center of memory. Old documents show Tsiganes being deported. Prison camps in France with separate quarters for Jews and Gypsies. Modern photographs of Auschwitz survivors - some of them have recorded oral histories. After the Lyon screening, one boy waits till everyone's left before he talks to me. His father is Manouche, he says, and he's always thought that the only thing of note about that was music. He loves and lives for music. But he never wanted to push open the door a little further and learn more about his roots. Somehow, he says the film has given him pride, and now he's enthusiastic about exploring and learning more about his people.

He's going to push open that door - with pride, not fear.

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