FILM: Meet Me in Samois, A Django Reinhardt Story
If you haven’t heard of Gypsy jazz then don’t worry, many haven’t.
Gypsy jazz or ‘Gypsy swing’ was created by Jean ‘Django’ Reinhardt in the 1930’s Paris. Born in Belgium and of Romani gypsy descent he began playing music from a young age whilst living in the gypsy community eventually playing the guitar to create a new jazz filled with Gypsy music influences.
The documentary short ‘Meet Me in Samois’ is an insight into the community of people meeting every year at Samois-sur Seine to celebrate the music of Django and carry that passion for Gypsy swing into the future.
The documentary though a short is heartfelt. We are introduced into this wonderfully scenic vision with musician Titi Bamberger, fishing while talking of Django. This is the location of not only the festival but also the resting place of the artist. As the film follows those who pilgrimage here every year from all over the world to pay their respect and pay homage to his music we learn about how people respond to Gypsy jazz. And it’s this, a most profound experience that they have, belonging to a community of artist sharing the love of this music, sharing the desire to create music while being together and feeling something in your heart from this experience that cannot be described.
The film is wonderfully directed and shot beautifully with the given fact that it’s only twenty minutes long. We are introduced to many characters that are all sharing music, laughter and talking about the artist’s life and his relevance to theirs. We learn little about Django’s life and how it all began so there is an air of mystery already there to wet our appetite and as the film travels with constant music you feel uplifted.
Those working on this independent documentary film are hoping to produce it into a full length feature by linking Samois-sur Seine along with other Gypsy jazz festivals taking place in New York, Belgium and England.
This is a wonderful insight into a fascinating musician and a community of music lovers who live their life to the joys of it.