Sarajevo Songs of Woe

Year of participation 2017
Program Feature Competition

Sarajevo Songs of Woe
Producer(s) Fred Kelemen
Director(s) Fred Kelemen
Script Fred Kelemen
Director of Photography Andrea Dobre, Irfan Brković, Dario Sekulowski, Orlin Stanchew, Radu Voinea, Naum Doksevski, Ana-Maria Draghici, Flóra Fecske, Claudia Kovács, Lev Predan Kowarski, Fred Kelemen
Music by Zoe Polanski
Edit Friederike Schuchardt, Annett Ilijew, Fred Kelemen
Cast Edin Avdagić, Balázs Bodolai, Iskra Jirsak, Ivana Pavlakovikj, Jovana Stojiljković, Szandra Guary, Iulia Ciochina, Doroteja Nadrah, Katarina Nikšić, Blaž Setnikar, Aja Štukan, Slaven Došlo, Sorin Dobrin
Production company(-ies) Kino Kombat Filmmanufactur


"SARAJEVO SONGS OF WOE" is a filmic triptych containing of the two tales "Blue Ballad for Lovers" and "Blue Rondo for Survivors" and the documentary middle part "Blue Psalm for Wolves". They are flowing into each other and so building up a universal mosaic of fragmented life situated in the town of Sarajevo. The camera follows different protagonists and interweaves with their cinematic round-dance of hope and despair, love and death and their quest for a dignified life which is fragilely stretched between the desire for the warmth of love and the coldness of our civilisation's  reality. 

"BLUE BALLAD FOR LOVERS" At the same spot, where Gavrilo Princip shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria 100 years afore, a young foreigner is standing shooting moments of random beauty with his video camera.
Torn up by his endangered love for his  seriously mobility impaired Bosnian girlfriend and his desire for vitality, sexuality and independence, in the turmoil of this disoriented town he continues his struggle to find a dignified way of life saving love from dying. 

The nights of Sarajevo belong to the wild dogs, descendants of the pet dogs abandoned by their dead or refuged humans and ruined houses during the Balkan War in 1995.
In rough images, whose cracks reveal an own kind of beauty, the film follows the maltreated, often traumatised beings straying the streets alone or in gangs on their daily struggle for survival, searching for foot, bathing, fucking or being tortured by some humans traumatised as they are or persecuted by the dog catchers who executed most of them since the centenary of the killing of  Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gavrilo Princip. 

A Serbian man, suffering of his past actions during the war returns to his hometown Sarajevo which he had left after the end of the fights. Facing the survivors of the ethnic rage which transformed former friends and neighbours to enemies and left unhealed wounds, he tries to reconcile with the past and a lost life seeking for forgiveness and redemption.

 Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation
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