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Ceija Stojka

Katrin Berger

Documentary - 85' - Austria - 1999

"Ceija Stojka" is a portrait of 64-year-old Austrian Rom Ceija Stojka, who, after a nomadic childhood, settled in Vienna many years ago. In the recent past, Ceija Stojka's fame as an author, painter and singer has spread outside Austria. She represents the opening of Rom and Sinti society to the world of the "gadje." This process and all the difficulties it involves is unique in the history of the Rom in Central Europe. The central theme of this documentary is the fusion of two extremely different worlds in this fascinating woman. Beginning with Ceija Stojka's present life, her biography is reconstructed in this film portrait. At the same time, a critical chronology of images portrays the common associations with the "gypsy," examples of which pervade Ceija Stojka's life. A comprehensive consideration of the gypsy's image, from romanticized projections to images of exclusion, discrimination and destruction, and finally the present ambivalent relationship between Rom and non-Rom.