When Germany-born Hans Zimmer signed to compose the score for the second film in director Guy Ritchie’s edgy adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, it might have seemed like just another four-star assignment in a career that stretches over more than 100 films.
But along the way, the politically minded Oscar-winning composer discovered a new direction for his music — and a cause.
Both involve the Roma — gypsies, as they’re often called — who remain a discriminated-against minority in parts of Eastern and Central Europe. Long disdained for their wandering lifestyle and distinctive language and culture, the Roma suffered along with European Jews at the hands of the Nazis.
During the summer, Zimmer, his core group of musicians, members of the National Democratic Institute and his foundation director, Bonnie Abaunza, visited seven Roma settlements to meet the people and “listen to as many musicians as we could.”