Gypsy Caravan

Rated 4.0

Jasmine Dellal gathered this hearty documentary’s raw material by hanging around as musicians of common Romany heritage from India, Macedonia, Romania and Spain came together for a North American tour in 2001. She made the correct assumption that with music so gorgeous and full of life, all you really have to do is point a camera at the people who make it and watch and listen. And with famed documentarist Albert Maysles among the cinematographers doing the pointing, how could the result not be a work of great warmth, with some arresting performances and highly endearing conversations? So, OK, maybe there’s an unchecked impulse to counteract stereotypes of gypsies as grubby, sniveling pickpockets with stereotypes of them as huge-hearted, saint-like musical masters. And maybe the movie is too long. But geez, these people have had enough hardship; what’s the harm in fawning over them a little, in insisting on hearing just one more soulful chorus?