Balkan Melodie / Балканска мелодия (Bulgaria/Switzerland/Germany, 2012)

directed by Stefan Schwietert, documentary, 92 min, eng subtitles
written by Stefan Schwietert

Balkan Melodie tells a great love story - the story of Marcel and Catherine Cellier and their lifelong dedication to the music of Eastern Europe. At the times when the world is paralysed by Cold War divisions the couple transcends all borders to collect and document sounds and harmonies which have never been heard before in the West. In numerous radio programmes and through selling millions of records Marcel Cellier spreads the music of the Balkans among an international audience who falls in love with it immediately. He paves the way to fame for musicians like the Rumanian pan flute virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir and the legendary Bulgarian women's choir "Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares". Following the steps of the Cellier family the film travels to Eastern Europe to find the protagonists of those days and to resurrect the richness of their music.
In parallel to looking for the sources, Swiss documentary filmmaker Stefan Schwietert attempts to show the role played by state-promoted folk music in the Communist countries and how the situation has changed since then. All this makes Balkan Melodie a powerful and entertaining musical journey through time behind the Iron Curtain.

Awards:
Freistadt, Der Neue Heimatfilm, Würdingungspreis der Stadt Freistadt 2012