‘I really enjoyed the POV style of the movie, which made it so personal. The language doesn’t exclude the negatives but at the same time the story itself allows them to go unnoticed.’
Italy has always been the country of choice for Roma economic migrants coming from the Balkans and Romania. But their forced nomadic lifestyle, which depends on current immigration policies and their results, as well as the influences of integrative social initiatives and their opposite force, the discriminatory and in many cases racist attitudes and actions, are characteristic of other areas of Western and Southern European countries, too. Countless documentaries (and even feature films) have been made about these topics, but an approach such as that used by Laura Halilovic is exceptional. The title Io, la mia famiglia Rom e Woody Allen / Me, My Gipsy Family and Woody Allen refers to its three important elements: the personal tone (subjective narration), a story about a family of Roma origin, and Woody Allen, a highly-reputed filmmaker from an earlier generation whose subjectivity, American Jewish origins and family-related themes are equally important in his works. Reflexivity is a strong device for distancing (i.e. making people aware of the medium) while intensifying the level of understanding. The style of storytelling is personal and creative, allowing the viewers to engage emotionally.
We can also see Halilovic’s film as a strong counter-inquiry to the Emir Kusturica-style movies (the motif of the grandmother who still lives in a temporary camp and is at risk of being evicted supports this observation) – but we are not compelled to do so. It can also be received as a coming-of-age reality movie focusing on the Bildungsroman of a young girl with Roma roots who is searching for her place as a migrant with a more traditional lifestyle in a modern Western society. Her story is exceptional: growing up on the margins of society, she was able to turn this experience into valuable knowledge. This knowledge was quite beneficial because her playful and cheerful diary-like movie, which is about the conflicts and solutions of the transitional, in-between states of young adulthood, is able to bring the audience closer to this stage of her life through her personal experience.
Awards UCCA Prize 20 citta, AVANTI!
2009 Jury Mention, Bellaria Film Festival
2009 Cinema against Racism Prize
2009 Alberto Manzi Prize for the Best Educational Television Programme
2009 Audience Award, Balkan Sunflower Film Festival
2009 Best long featured documentary, Festival des 4 écrans
2009 Best foreign documentary, One World Prishtina
2009 Best Italian documentary, Festival Visioni Fuori Raccordo
2009 Best author documentary, Grand Prix Urti
2011 Golden Pram, Zagreb Film Festival
2010 Best First Documentary, CMCA 2010
2013 Cineromani ‘Poetics and Politics’, 2013, Berlin Zeughauskino, https://www.dhm.de/archiv/kino/cinemaromani.html (accessed on 12 June 2017)