1996, written and directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, in Farsi with English subtitles. Among the nomadic peoples of Iran, a gabbeh is a handwoven carpet with patterns inspired by tribal life. As the film opens, an old woman is washing her gabbeh in a river; a young woman named Gabbeh (Shaghayegh Djodat) dressed in the deep blue of the carpet appears and talks about her life, which is told in the fabric's patterns. Her father forbids her to marry the man she loves; as she travels with the tribe, her lover follows at a distance on horseback. "Gabbeh" combines a fable with a documentary-like look at nomadic life. Unlike the black robes depicted in Iranian films set in urban areas, the tribespeople here wear bright costumes. The film is likewise full of vividly colorful images of the world the nomads encounter. "Life is color," says one character. 75 mins.
1995, written and directed by Carlos ("Carmen") Saura who exercises his passion for flamenco in a stripped-down, sensual song-and-dance marathon. "Flamenco" showcases the flowering of a vital, evolving art that fuses gypsy melodies, Andalusian rhythms, Hindu songs, Gregorian chants, Jewish laments and Persian tunes, among others. Set in an abandoned train station in Seville and structured like an all-night rave that begins in the afternoon and continues until the shoe leather wears thin at dawn, "Flamenco" features the best singers and dancers of the flamenco renaissance. The cast mixes the internationally famous -- Paco de Lucia, Manolo Sanlucar, Lole y Manuel.
1997, writer and director Tony Gatlif, French with subtitles. Starring: Romain Duris, Rona Hartner, Isidor Serban. Gadjo Dilo is the third film in French director Tony Gatlif's Gypsy trilogy, preceded by Latcho Drom (1994) and Mondo, which tells the story of a homeless Gypsy boy in Paris. In the gypsies' Romany language, "gadjo" means outsider, and "dilo" means crazy. In the film, the crazy outsider is a young Parisian named Stephane (Romain Duris) who has come to a Gypsy community in Romania on a quest: he is trying to find his dead father's favourite singer to record her for posterity. While trying to locate the mystery chanteuse, he gradually overcomes the Gypsies' suspicions and is drawn more and more into their exotic lifestyle. At the same time he begins to fall in love with an earthy Gypsy beauty named Sabina (Rona Hartner). 100 mins.
WHITE LIGHTA Color Performance each Saturday at 7:00