Oh happy day. Heaven of heavens! Someone has put all of Latcho Drom (in parts, but all of it) up on YouTube…in high quality! I had seen bits and bobs before, but usually low quality stuff that might as well have been on an old VHS.
What is Latcho Drom? It is a seminal documentary film made in the 90’s about the Romani people, specifically tracing the travels of the “Gypsies” through India, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Romania, etc. In short, it is a visual and musical journey through the regions from which tribal bellydancers draw their fusion elements. There is much awesome music, much awesome dancing, much awesome costuming…and none of it is “costumed”. These are The Real Thing. And the worst part is that the video is no longer available except on old VHS. They never made a DVD of it (though if someone did, they could make a small fortune from bellydancers alone). In the meantime, we have YouTube. HOORAY! Here they are: