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Desert Rose

a modern Romani children fairy tale

Far, far away at the corner of Europe, in Bulgaria, there are people to whom the word "hope" is just an abstract image, a fairy-tale they heard a long time ago. Like a desert rose, their children grow and thrive despite everything. Look at their eyes and you will see a desert where roses bloom. These are the Romani children in January 2018, and this is how the world looks like through their eyes.

 

Desert Rose is a project that led us to Varna, Bulgaria where we faced the reality of the Romani community. This minority is often exposed in a unilateral way, focusing mainly on their financial and social status. Desert rose aims to look through the eyes of two gipsy children and portrait their world as a fairy tale.

Creating Desert Rose was a real challenge for me. I directed and produced the project, which was entirely independent, in the middle of my second year at university. Managing to get inside this secular minority and then convincing them to step in front of the camera was our main struggle. Bulgarians and Romani don't like each other for generations for reasons right and wrong but very obvious at the same time. For just less than a week we managed to approach them and find a family that would agree to let us film their child. I am proud to say that we did a great job with the resources we had. 

I wanted these children who know so little about the outside world to tell me a fairytale. I wanted to hear their dreams and hopes. I didn't expect superheroes and princesses and I didn't get them. The film speaks for itself and I believe it needs a sequence.