Sunday, March 4, 2012


I publicized an event at the University of WA, in Seattle, in a recent post.

The Romani activist, writer and film maker Luminita Mihai Cioaba was showing her film ROMA TEARS as well as engaging in a question and answer period after.

I was fortunately able to attend this wonderful event.

Ms. Cioaba, not a physically large woman, somehow seemed larger than life. Her intelligence was balanced wonderfully with her graciousness and kindness of spirit. Her interpreter and host (herself from Romania) was also a wonderful and welcoming presence.

I was most impressed with the film Roma Tears, and the love with which Ms Cioaba let survivors speak their hearts and minds. She told a very hard story with the beauty only possible from a kind and compassionate heart.

To sum up the film from her own description:
" From the spring until the autumn of the year 1942, the nomad and sedentary Roma people were deported from Romania to Transnistra at the order of Marshal Ion Antonescu. It was a tragedy of immense proportions, completely ignored until now."

And, sadly, ignoring the plight of the Romani, yesterday and today is still the norm. As Ms. Cioaba said, she's trying to interest Steven Speilberg in making a movie of the story of the Romani throughout Europe now and during the Holocaust.
She's been trying to reach him during her brief visit to the United States; sadly, but predictably, he has not returned her messages.

As well as making Roma Tears accessible, she also brought many other wonderful items with her to share. These items include several books, artwork and traditional clothing from Roma in Romania.

While we were able to purchase several items for the museum, Ms. Cioaba graciously, and generously donated her other books, and we are in process of obtaining a hand made skirt and vest.

Hearing Ms. Cioaba and watching the film Roma Tears was a wonderful, empowering experience.

We thank her for her kindness, talent and generosity.

If anyone would like information on how to reach her to purchase a copy of the film, or her books leave a comment and i will post an internet address.

Also, Roma Tears, and several books by Ms. Cioaba, including THE LOST COUNTRY, are available at the Lolo Diko museum.

1 comment:

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