Looking For My Gypsy Roots

Radio C, the Roma station in Budapest, has stopped broadcasting news in Romany. The reason? - there aren't enough Romany words for many 21st century concepts. Among the missing words is 'globalization.' And yet few people in the world are having more difficulty confronting globalization than the Roma in Hungary. Under-employed, under-educated and often alienated, they feel excluded from the young democracy's growing prosperity. And yet many Hungarians feel the Roma have bought this exclusion on themselves.

Roma make up a large percentage of Hungary's prison population, and have few leaders who have been successful in the wider world and are prepared to stand up for their Roma, or 'gypsy', inheritance. Radio C is in District 8 - informally known as Gypsy Harlem. It's long been the center of Budapest's gypsy culture, known across the world for its musicians. But 'gypsy' artists here face a dilemma - if they sell themselves as gypsies, they're regarded as quaint representatives of an ethnic minority. In the words of Roma writer Andrjz Mirja, the dilemma for the Roma is 'how to be a minority but still be equal.'
In Escape from Gypsy Harlem Arpad Bogdan, a prize-winning Roma filmmaker ('Boldog uj elet - 'Happy New Life'), describes how he and his friends have faced this dilemma in their working, and personal, lives, and takes us on a tour of Gypsy Harlem, The Jungle - an even tougher neighborhood in Budapest - and the more tranquil Rose Hill, where he now lives, looking for answers to the question of how to escape the gypsy artist cliche in a globalized world.

'Life 6 is a wonderfully educational series that presents the viewers with the dilemmas faced by specific individuals in the socio-historical and economic context of their communities in the midst of an increasingly globalized world. The tremendous value of this series is that, in the brief thirty minutes that each episode lasts, it captures the complexities of the lives of those in it as they face Western influence that force them to reassert, defend, or challenge their local and/or individual identities, cultures, governance, wealth distribution, and practices of achieving justice and reconciliation--to name a few...Life 6 represents these issues in an objective and analytical way that will--without question--lead into a discussion and debate about them by academics and lay audiences alike.' Aniuska Luna, African Peace and Conflict Network

'A well-crafted and heartwarming film and is certainly recommended especially for school and public libraries.' Justin Cronise, SUNY Buffalo, Educational Media Reviews Online


Main credits

Mészáros, Antónia (film producer)
Mészáros, Antónia (film director)
Tösér, Ádám (editor of moving image work)
Kyriacou, Sotira (editor of moving image work)
Bradshaw, Steve (editor of moving image work)
Bradshaw, Steve (narrator)
Bogdán, Árpád (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editors, Ádám Tösér, Sotira Kyriacou; series editor, Steve Bradshaw.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Human Rights
Millennium Development Goals
Race and Racism
Social Justice
Social Psychology
United Nations
Women's Studies


Hungary, Arpad, Roma, Radio C, Budapest, Romany, globalization, under-employed, under-educated, exclusion, prison, prison population, gypsy, gypsy harlem, gypsy culture, musicians, ethnic minority, Andrjz Mirja, Arpad Bogdan, The Jungle, Rose Hill; "Looking For My Gypsy Roots"; Bullfrog Films