When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan (2007)
Critic Consensus: A dynamic doc following five Romani bands is a pleasure for the senses thanks to vibrant colors and eclectic music.
Musicians from different lands but sharing a common heritage come together for a concert tour that proves as revelatory for the participants as their audiences in this documentary. In 2001, American promoters persuaded five noted bands of gypsy musicians to join forces for what was billed as "the Gypsy Caravan Tour," but while these musicians appealed to many of the same fans, for the most part they had never met before going on the road together. The performers were Taraf de Haidouks, an 18-piece group from Romania whose lineup spans several generations; another Romanian group, the 11-piece horn ensemble Fanfare Ciocarlia; Antonio de Pipa's Flamenco Ensemble, which combines both music and dance in their performances; Maharaja, a Northern Indian group featuring musicians from all sides of Indian society; and Esma Redzepova, one of Macedonia's best and most acclaimed vocalists. As the tour wore on, the artists began to interact both musically and socially, and their different takes on gypsy music began to inform one another in new and interesting ways. Filmmaker Jasmine Dellal followed the tour with a camera crew, and When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan offers a look at the music these artists performed on stage as well as their interaction after the shows and on the road; the film also features individual interviews with the musicians back home after the tour was completed. … More
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Critic Reviews for When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan
For its glimpses of various lifestyles and personalities -- an ancient but spry fiddler, a young male who performs in drag -- it isn't bad.
If you have any ear for non-Western music, Gypsy Caravan is a must.
The emphasis remains on the personal stories of the players themselves who, for all their backstage squabbling, identify more with each other than any of the countries in which they've settled.
If music were all, Gypsy Caravan would be amazing. As is, it's worth seeing, but you may get frustrated at the way Dellal raises provocative questions about ancestry and prejudice...
Audience Reviews for When the Road Bends: Tales of a Gypsy Caravan
(Johnny Depp is in this...?) Anyway, this was a nice documentary/musical about the lives of various Gypsy band members as they make their way to the Gypsy Caravan. It's well made and the music is amazing.
This is a beautiful film, one of the best documentaries of this sub-genre (music, stranger in a strange land) - and though it spends a lot of time in the "comfort zone", it's always beautiful. Of course, the music and the subjects are very engaging, so it's easy to love.
Very worthwhile documentary--serves even more as a sociological study than it does about music (outside the fact that music IS so integral to understanding Gypsies).
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