Directed by Aaron Yeger, released in the United States by First Run Features, and distributed in Canada by KinoSmith, Inc., A People Uncounted is an introduction to the porrajmos—the killing of 500,000 people alternately called Gypsy, Roma, or Sinti during the Holocaust. This figure, 500,000, represents 90% of the then-Roma population in Europe.
A People Uncounted is a brilliant film with standard-bearing production quality and storytelling. I’ve heard vague allusions to something about Gypsies being victimized in the Holocaust. A People Uncounted makes these allusions painfully, horrifyingly clear.
The heart of the film is, of course, survivors speaking on camera. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘the map is not the territory.’ There is simply no way to convey in words the experience of seeing and hearing these deeply wounded, noble people speaking of their experiences.
Yeger wisely places the porrajmos in context by referring to other 20th century genocides – and by including the sad information that Roma people are still being killed in Europe.
Yeger’s film is part of an international effort to acknowledge past and current persecution, oppression, and discrimination of Roma people, and to provide justice to the Roma.
As I’ve previously shared, I wrestle with the question: How do I get people to see documentary films about painful topics? Perhaps the answer lies simply in the asking of the question. Or the question is irrelevant, stupid, a fool’s errand to even ask, let alone answer.
So, I resort to simplicity. A People Uncounted is an important film which should be seen by as many people as possible. It is one of countless cries from some human beings to all human beings: Stop hurting and destroying, start being compassionate.