‘It is obvious that this film has been made by a professional filmmaker and presents positive human values.’
Romnia: Roma Women from Huesca (Romnia: Roma Women from Huesca) is a documentary film on a Roma community, specifically women in north-eastern Spain, made by Pablo Vega, a film director who is receiving increasing acclaim. Transparency and clarity are the common denominators in this project. Vega makes himself visible in front of the camera and introduces himself as Roma, thus becoming another subject appearing in the documentary as well as its director and producer. This conscious act endows the documentary with a more human angle. He recognises the important yet difficult path to self-representation and therefore clarifies the goal of the project as well as its primary intended audience: ‘This documentary is aimed at those Roma who are lost in the meaning of this term’. As Vega explains, he was approached by the Fundación Secretariado Gitano to shoot this documentary in order to highlight the situation of Roma women who break with the stereotype, and therefore widen the horizons of the dominant white community’s perception.
The film also aims to visualise the discriminatory practices Romani communities suffer in everyday life. The protagonists of the documentary, Vanesa, a shop assistant, Pitu, a recent education graduate, Sara, a lawyer and regional coordinator at the Foundation and Adelina, the first Roma teacher to be awarded the Gold Medal of Merit of Work. They successfully reflect the modern-day struggle to demonstrate the fallacy of stereotyping and underline the success Roma women achieve.
Combining interviews with the women and their parents, both at home and in the workplace (shop or office), the director manages to create a professional profile of his actors without forgetting the intimacy provided by a familiar environment and the insights of family members. The insistence on the need for training is repeated over and over again from the mouths of the different interviewees, who stress that the Roma identity should not be at odds with having an education.
The documentary was shown at the film festival ‘O Dikhipen, Roma in Film’, organised by the Spanish Film Archive in 2010.