The Roma Queen

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The Roma Queen

 

On the 25 of May each year, Romanies, Tzigans, Gitans, Manush, Kale, Gitanos, Travellers, otherwise known as Gypsies, congregate from all the corners of the globe for a pilgrimage to the southern French town of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer. They come to venerate their Saint, the Black Sara and to celebrate their culture and their music in the Festival of Nations.

This is a story of the most misunderstood and most persecuted culture and people in Europe. A unique people because they have never identified themselves with a territory; they have no tradition of an ancient homeland from which their ancestors migrated, nor do they claim the right to national sovereignty in any of the lands where they reside. Rather, Romani identity is bound up with the ideal of freedom expressed, in part, in having no ties to a homeland and to the maintenance of their own unique culture wherever they reside.

This is the story of two Romani clans (vitsas), the Rodionovs of Russia and the Valdez of Spain who prepare for this long trip to the Festival of Nations in their colorful caravans and meet up on the road to the seashore. The Rodionovs have a beautiful young queen as protector of the clan who, according to tradition, is sworn to chastity for life. She cannot ever know or experience the pleasures of sex for fear of loosing her mystical powers. But this is put to the test in the South of France when she meets the dashing Paco of the Valdez clan.

Music, secrecy, Love, mystery, clairvoyance and the paranormal, are all entwined in this drama of Romance and intrigues. Loyalty and sacrifice are questioned and explored. When ancient beliefs are compromised, violence erupts in the most unusual circumstances. How will these conflicts resolve when ancient traditions fail to provide the answers? Will the passion of youth determine the outcome?

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