Latcho Drom (1993) – A Musical Journey of the Romani People

The title means Safe Journey in Romani. And this film is a journey with no other plot than the show of travel of who would become the Roma from Northern India to Spain. There is dialogue and sentences in the language of the real Roma speaking in their respective countries where they live, showing their daily life and most importantly their music.


This documentary film is masterful in showing the life of the Romani community in different parts of the world, and what is most needed to make sure stereotypes are crashed, humanising them. Because the notion still exists that all of these people are thieves and not to be trusted, a stereotype which for comparisons sake is like saying all Italians belong to the Mafia. Which isn’t true and is disrespectful for the group of people who brought their music and culture in to Europe from India, thus transforming the music we think of as belonging to one country, when it is in fact Roma through and through. Flamenco, for one, which would not exist without the Roma combining their ancestor’s dance forms of Rajasthani or Kalbelia folk dances and Kathak and adding to it the European guitar to make a dance form that is completely original and which is beloved all around the world. Even thought its thought of more Spanish than Romani in origin.

This is a journey thought the eyes and essentially the history and culture of a group of people much ignored and dehumanised. Personally I have never had any gripe or been offended by the Romani people I’ve seen, or technically the Kale of Finland. Since I have been a little girl I’ve looked in wonder at their velvet black dresses with embellishments and lace. Always wanting to know more. Because knowing that I can learn more is the greatest realisation one can have, especially if it means to humanise and read about the struggles of people whom the majority of society and governments try to shoo away or not even try to make an effort to understand.


Above is the book I’ve read on the Romani people. It is very informative and I highly recommend it if you want to learn, otherwise look for Romani sources that confirm what books one should read to know more about the Romani that aren’t Western media made stereotypes. This book should be essential reading everywhere in my opinion.

This documentary is a beautiful. I watched it without subtitles, but the Wikipedia page gave me enough information at the end. In the end it is the true story of both survival of music, culture and dance, as well as persecution against a group of people who have been defined by their stereotypes and who are STILL waiting for understanding and empathy after all these hundreds of years.

The film is free to watch on YouTube without subtitles (not that they are needed).

Thank you for reading!

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