"a fascinating window... confronts the prejudice and misperception that the Roma face in this country."
--The New York Times
"presents a chilling history...avoids sensationalism and editorializing"
"fascinating, insightful look at the consistently denigrated Gypsy culture"
"Dellal's easy intimacy makes 'American Gypsy' shine... warm, humourous, fascinating"
--Time Out New York
"A very powerful piece of work."
"A spellbinding, thought provoking film about the Rom - America's hidden, sometimes romanticized and often oppressed people."
--Taos Talking Pictures
"Be the first on your block!"
"An intriguing, meticulous portrait of a secretive and misunderstood people"
Best Documentary: American Gypsy
Best Documentary Film Director: Jasmine Dellal, American Gypsy
Best Actor: ...James Marks"
--Spokesman Review (at the 2000 Spokane Northwest Film Festival)
"American Gypsy probes beneath the Stereotypes"
Quotes from the Film
"Here's a population who's a stranger in everybody's land, and yet the language survives and the culture survives and why should that be? I believe fundamental to the survival is this notion of purity and pollution: you keep to yourselves in order to remain pure, and as soon as you go into the non-Gypsy world you are entering a danger zone."
Dr. Ian Hancock, professor at the University of Texas at Austin
"The first thing [viewers] will say is, 'Well, he's a crook, he's a thief, he has to talk that way.' Nobody wants to hear the truth..."
Grover Marks, like many of his peers,
doubts that non-Gypsies will want to know
more than the "Gypsy" stereotypes.
"I heard people say: 'Hitler should have killed you all!' 'Why don't you get out of America and go back where you came from!' and 'You steal babies from good white people!'"
From a letter to the Editor of the Spokesman Review
Repeating comments overheard at Expo '74.
"I also acknowledge all of the survivors, Jews and Gypsies. The purpose of this Memorial, of this day, is to tell their story to each generation."
Vice President, Al Gore
at a 1994 Holocaust Memorial Ceremony
"I remember [Rosa Parks,] the woman that said, 'I'm tired of sitting at the end of the bus,' I remember those little things. Jimmy Marks, the crazy Gypsy. I'm tired of hiding out, I'm tired of moving on. My home was built in Spokane, Wa, and I wasn't about to put it on roller skates and roll it down the highway."
Jimmy Marks in a phone message to Jasmine Dellal
"This interview is difficult.... This is a first for our people, we're changing time, we're changing culture, we're changing religion, because we need to tell this story to the world."
"Uncle Noah said, 'The way to fulfill our tradition is neither to quarrel nor to explain, as if we were being judged, but to make it sing with meaning.' "
Excerpt from The World of The Juki
by Douglas Halebi