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World Music & Cinema

Vol 5. Eastern Europe

Many Eastern European films reflect historic and ongoing socio-political conflicts of identity and culture, the past returning to haunt the present as in Gori Vatra / Fuse by Pjer Zalica, or Beautiful People by Jasmin Dizdar, depicting painful, but also comical meetings between Serbs, Bosnians and everyone else. In Rok Dabla / Year of the Devil by Petr Zelenka, Czech folk-rock star Jaromir Nohavica plays himself and recent history is portrayed by ghosts; in Marsal / Marshal Tito’s Spirit by Navjveci Hrvatski, accompanied by the Croat group Mate Matisic, it takes a more tangible form. Ghosts visit the Albanian film Nata Pa Hene / The Moonless Night by Artan Minarolli, with ‘fanfares’ by young French composer Baptiste Bouquin. Emir Kusturica mixes image and sound to perfection: in Chat Noir, Chat Blanc / Black Cat, White Cat he wrote and recorded the score himself with his band The No Smoking Orchestra; he collaborated with the composer Goran Bregovic on Underground and the classic film Dom za vesanje / Time of the Gypsies, with the deeply moving song Ederlezi. Tzigane culture also figures in Gadjo Dilo / The Crazy Stranger by Tony Gatlif about the search for a singer, played by Rona Hartner. In the Hungarian film Vagabonds by Gyorgy Szomjas, music and dance allow a lost boy to find his place in society. Hungarian cinema is also represented by the enduring collaboration between innovative director Bela Tarr and composer Mihaly Vig in the film Damnation. Electronic music and hip-hop accompany films set in contemporary Serbia: the adventures of an Olympic athlete in Absolute 100 by Srdjan Golubovic and the story of a kidnap in Ljeto u Zlatnoj Dolini / Summer in the Golden Valley by Srdjan Vuletic.