And the Violins Stopped Playing (I skrzypce przestaly grac)
Movie depicting a real story about a group of Romani people who are forced to flee from the persecuting forces of the Nazis at the height of the Porajmos (Romani holocaust), during World War II.

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Written, Directed and Produced by Alexander Ramati
Horst Buchholz ... Dymitr Mirga
Didi Ramati ... Wala Mirga, Dymitr's wife
Piotr Polk ... Roman Mirga, Dymitr's son
Maya Ramati ... Zoya Natkin / Mirga
Kasia Siwak ... Mara Mirga, Dymitr's daughter
Marne Maitland ... Sandu Mirga, Dymitr's father
Bettine Milne ... Rosa Mirga, Dymitr's mother
Aldona Grochal ... Wala's Sister
Wieslaw Wójcik ... Bora Natkin, Zoya's father
Ernestyna Winnicka ... Zoya's mother
Marcin Tronski ... Dr. Josef Mengele
Jan Machulski ... Col. Krüger
Zitto Kazann ... Mikita
Wojciech Pastuszko ... Koro, Mikita's son
Jacek Sas-Uhrynowski ... Pawel, Romans friend
Aleksander Bardini ... Greczko Szura (as Aleksander Bardin)
Marek Barbasiewicz ... Count Paszkowski
Jerzy Nowak ... Prof. Epstein, doctor in Auschwitz Camp
Wladyslaw Komar ... Dombrowski
Wiktor Zborowski ... Tomasz
Krzysztof Swietochowski ... Franko
Aleksander Ford ... Zenon
Judy Hecht Dumontet ... Zenon's wife
Ewa Telega ... Ira
Jerzy Turek ... Polish peasant
Wojciech Wysocki ... Dowódca oddzialu partyzanckiego
Wlodzimierz Jasinski ... Pop
Edward Dobrzanski ... Kola, Polish peasant
Hanna Wrycza ... Zofia
Margita Dukiet ... Zofia's mother
Juliusz Berger ... Slovak gypsy man
Boguslaw Sobczuk ... Rudolf Höss, Auschwitz Camp Commandant
Cezary Morawski ... Capt. Brond
Barbara Rachwalska ... Mrs. Stefa
Emilian Kaminski ... Gypsy singer
Celina Ciecierska ... Gypsy singer
Robert Majewski ... Gypsy singer
Hanna Polk ... Zofia
Magdalena Warsinska ... Nela, prisoner in Auschwitz Camp
Bogumil Antczak ... Doctor in Auschwitz Camp (uncredited)
Aleksy Awdiejew ... (uncredited)
Elzbieta Bielska-Graczyk ... (uncredited)
Irena Byszewska ... (uncredited)
Jerzy Frydrych ... (uncredited)
Jan Hencz ... (uncredited)
Ryszard Jasinski ... (uncredited)
Leszek Kubanek ... (uncredited)
Tomasz Medrzak ... A Man (uncredited)
Bogdan Michalak ... (uncredited)
Jaroslaw Pilarski ... (uncredited)
Marek Probosz ... Guest at the Sylvester Party (uncredited)
Wojciech Skibinski ... Policeman (uncredited)
Sylwester Zawadzki ... (uncredited)
Jerzy Zelnik ... Danko Müller, Dymitr's cousin (uncredited)
Music consultant Unislawa Glazewska
Distributed by Orion Television Distributer
Release date 1988
Running time 116 min.
CountryUnited States / Poland
Language English


The story opens in 1941 Poland, with Dymitr Mirga, a prominent Gypsy violin player, entertaining a group of Nazis in a restaurant. At first the Nazis enjoy the entertainment and assure the musicians that the ongoing removal of the region's Jews is being conducted for the sake of the Romani. However, Dymitr Mirga soon realizes the truth, and asks the head of the Gypsy community to lead its evacuation into Hungary, which that time has no Nazis. The leader is reluctant to comply, and the community's council eventually forces him to resign, giving his position instead to Dymitr Mirga. The son of the deposed leader has been betrothed to a beautiful Romani named Zoya Natkin; but she now chooses to marry Dymitr Mirga's son, Roman Mirga. On their ensuing journey to Hungary, some of the Gypsies desert and are massacred by the Nazis. Others voluntarily split off, in hopes that in smaller numbers they will appear to be merchants rather than Gypsies. Dymitr Mirga's small company eventually sells their jewels to buy horses from another Romani community - a great sacrifice, but necessary to enable them to move quickly. Many are nevertheless killed by the Nazis. The sympathetic population gives them burials and provides a chance for their comrades to meet and mourn their loss.

In time, the resolute Dymitr Mirga reaches Hungary with his much diminished group of followers, including his wife, his son and daughter-in-law Roman and Zoya, Zoya's family and Roman's "rival," the son of the former leader, who has been killed by Nazis. All Dymitr Mirga's efforts go for nought, however, when the Nazis finally invade Hungary in 1944. A Nazi column takes the Romani in cattle trucks to concentration camps, where the infamous Col. Kruger conducts horrifying experiments on prisoners. Before their arrival, Dymitr Mirga's daughter escapes out through the window of one of the cattle trucks. At the camp. Dymitr Mirga is forced to play for the Nazis, whilst his son Roman receives minor privileges because of his skill as a translator. However, when Roman's wife Zoya dies, the young man begins to consider his father's urging that he escape. Roman approaches his friend and former rival, and recognizing that their families are marked for death, the two agree to make an attempt. The attempt succeeds, and they manage to reconnect with Roman's younger sister who escaped from the cattle truck.

The film ends with the war over. As three Romani carriages head off into a sunset, carrying—we assume—Roman, his friend and his younger sister, the narrator concludes that the "Gypsy nation has yet to receive any compensation."

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