North Western India is home to a tribe of nomads, native dancers and musicians, and they have a name that translates to “those who love snakes.” They are called the Kalbelias. Raphael Treza captures the Kalbelias on tape performing their cultural dances; beautiful and passionate. Treza visits their village in a remote part of Rajasthan.
“Cobra Gypsies” is the kind of documentary that makes your heart beat faster. It is a riveting documentary that tells the story of the Kalbelias in the dry Thar desert in Rajasthan, North Western India. The location alone is visually stunning, let alone the holy city, the colorful clothing of the locals, and just the Indian culture that pervades throughout the film.
Seeing the people of the Thar desert is refreshingly youthful and honest, and told from the perspective of both the filmmaker and the native people. Even their everyday lives strike the viewer as unique as they live in some ways much differently than Westerners, but similarly at the same time; they use tractors and have sweet families, but they also have a strong passion for snakes and some sell henna for a living.