DER Documentary

Whose Is This Song?

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by Adela Peeva
color, 70 min, 2003 (50 min version also available)
Bulgarian, Turkish, Greek, Albanian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Serbian with English subtitles


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In her search for the true origins of a haunting melody, the filmmaker travels to Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria. The trip is filled with humor, suspense, tragedy and surprise as each country's citizens passionately claim the song to be their own and can even furnish elaborate histories for its orgins.

The tune emerges again and again in different forms: as a love song, a religious hymn, a revolutionary anthem, and even a military march. The powerful emotions and stubborn nationalism raised by one song seem at times comical and othertimes, eerily telling. In a region beseiged by ethnic hatred and war, what begins as a light-hearted investigation ends as a sociological and historical exploration of the deep misunderstandings between the people of the Balkans.

Read a review of the film by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Golden Rython Award, Golden Chest Award, Sofia International Film Festival, Bulgaria, 2003
Prix ARTE Nominee, European Film Academy Documentary, 2003
Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czech Republic, 2003
International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam, 2003
Sarajevo International Film Festival, 2003
Apolonia Art Festival, Sozopol, Bulgaria, 2003
Montpelier Documentary Film Festival, 2003
Rencontres Internationales du documentaire de Montreal, 2003
Cinemania Film Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2003
United Nations Film Festival, California, 2003
International TV Festival Bar, Montenegro, 2003
Dhaka International Film Festival, Bangladesh, 2003
Silver Conch Award, Melbourne International Film Festival, 2004
Prix Bartok, 23rd Bilan du Film Ethnographique, Paris, 2004
Mumbai International Film Festival, 2004
Belgrade Film Festival, 2004
Istanbul Film Festival, 2004
DocAviv, Documentary Film Festival, Israel, 2004
Balkan Black Box Festival, Berlin, 2004
Ankara International Film Festival, Turkey, 2004
Oslo International Film Festival, Norway, 2004
VERA Documentary Film Festival, Finland, 2004
Visons du RZel, Nyon, Switzerland, 2004
Chicago International Documentary Festival, 2004
Nashville Film Festival, 2004
Tribeca Film Festival, New York, 2004
Documenta Madrid, International Documentary Film Festival, 2004
Student Jury & Second Award, Crossroad Europe International Documentary Film Festival, Poland, 2005
Silver Knight Award, Golden Knight International Film Festival, 2005
Festival Interuniversitaire de Films Ethnographique de Montreal, 2006.
Gsttingen International Film Festival, Germany, 2006
Award of Commendation, Society for Visual Anthropology/AAA Conference, San Jose, California, 2006
OSCE Award "Human Rights and Respect of Diveristy," Docufest Film Festival, Kosovo, 2006
Best Film & Award for Innovation, Sardinia Ethnographic Film Festival, Italy, 2006
Roving Eye Documentary Film Festival, Providence, RI, 2007

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Related Films
Balkan Rhapsodies



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