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Film " Visiting happy Gipsies "

A documentary film by Jean-Marie David

Coproduction with the french KTO TV - 52 minutes (2004)

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Sanctuary of Mont Roland, place of gypsy pilgrimage


Constantly on the move, settled down or half-settled, there are 400,000 Gypsies or Tziganes, in France. Aside from their caravans and folkloric traditions, we know little about these nomadic travelers.

This film takes a close look at the lives, values and aspirations of the Tziganes families who are based in the east of France, like the family of Octave Adolphe, a famous gyspy music player and singer.

Practicing their faith, parking problems, work and family life, the education of their children – all of these are explored as they share their joys and problems with us. This film gives us an in-depth look at the state of the european Tzigane world.


* the french senator Pierre Hérisson, in charge of the Gypsies case at the French Parliament;

* The Bishop in charge of the catholic Gypsies in France, Gilbert Louis;

* The french mayor of one of the rare city welcoming Gypsies, Michel Federspiel.


The film answers questions such as: Who are the European Roms, or gypsies, where do they come from, where are they headed, and how do they live?
Are they not the last European rolling stones?
Did you know that the famous jazzman Jango Rheinardt was a Gypsy? And enigmatic movie actor Yul Brynner too?
Did you know that French Gypsies died in combat during both World Wars like many other French men and women?
Did you know that Gypsies were imprisoned during World War II in camps at the Royal Saltworks in Arc et Senans near Dijon which had been designed by 18th century architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux?
With issues such as camping, jobs,  education for children and their religious faith, French Rom families open the doors to their caravans and their hearts to allow non-nomadic people to understand the values and culture of a voyaging people.
The 400,000 Roms in France are great travelling, semi-nomadic or sedentary people. We know little about them, beyond the caravan and gypsy folklore clichés.
The film and its moving testimonials draw an overall picture of the Rom world in Western Europe today.

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Octave Adolphe, how to be a gypsy today

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A Gypsy one hundred years ago

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