Seville Southside | Chicago Reader

Seville Southside

If the films of Carlos Saura and Tony Gatlif have already whetted appetites for Spanish Gypsy lore and flamenco, then Dominique Abel's 2003 docudrama should spark further interest in these vibrant, endangered cultural forms. Only the slenderest narrative thread connects dozens of musical performances and a handful of reenacted dramatic encounters to weave a portrait of Gypsy life in a Seville slum, culminating in a televised concert to benefit the residents of the Poligono Sur public housing project. The neglect and discrimination the Gypsies experience at the hands of the Spanish majority has long been an obstacle to social progress, but these days the biggest threat comes from drugs and the undermining of traditional close-knit relationships within the community. Although the film offers intriguing glimpses into the lives of a guarded people, their music is as much a shield as a window here. In Spanish with subtitles. 105 min.

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