Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War

by Jeff Daniel Silva (55 minutes, 2008)


Balkan Rhapsodies is an episodic documentary poem that interweaves a mosaic of encounters, observations, and reflections from Silva's travels throughout war-torn Serbia and Kosovo between 1999-2005.  An American filmmaker and ethnographer, Jeff Daniel Silva, was the first US civilian allowed entry into a devastated Serbia in 1999 just days after the NATO bombings. By immersing himself intimately into the lives of people he meets, the film grapples with the inexplicable contradictions he encounters while digging deeper in search for comprehension.


Using the 78 days of NATO bombings (March 24 – June 10, 1999) as a structural reference point, this documentary infuses the fragmentation, cultural incongruities and ultimate dissolution of the Former Yugoslavia into the fabric of its editing through a poetic assemblage of 78 episodic movements (measures).  Inspired by the rhapsodic musical form as well as a penchant for Serbia’s potent national drink (šljivovica), the film weaves Silva’s footage gleaned over eight years incorporating it with cultural imagery, archival material, and informal conversations with American luminaries Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.  Balkan Rhapsodies deftly balances a serious and humorous landscape that captures the essence of life in the Balkan's of a generation ensnared in war during the Milosevic years.


Credits:

Production

Director: Jeff Daniel Silva

Producer: Jeff Daniel Silva

Cinematographer: Jeff Daniel Silva

Additonal Camera: Alla Kovgan, Charles Jevremovic, Almira Zejnilagic

Editor: Jeff Daniel Silva

Sound Mix: Ernst Karel, Joe Boyd Vigil

Color Correction: Evan Schwenterly


Editing Consultants

Rebecca Baron

Gregg Bordowitz

Andrea Chignoli

Moyra Davey

Daniel Eisenberg

Jane Gillooly

Sharon Hayes

Saul Levine

Lana Lin

Lynne Sachs

Jason Simon

Lucien Taylor


Cast/Interviews

Igor Basorovic

Noam Chomsky

Elizabeth Chung

Danka Kojadinovic

Beatrice LaCoste

Igor Milic

Ivan Nedeljkovic

Boris Popovic

Misa Radic

Mateja Radonovic

Zoran Ristovic

Vladan Stefanovic

Almira Zejnilagic

Howard Zinn


Financial Support

MIT Council for the Arts

Somerville Arts Council


Additional Support & Special Thanks

Michael Albert

Goran Alexic

Julia Ananina

Tarek Ani

Dejan Antic

Katarina Avramovic

Ilisa Barbash

Lisa Barca

Todd Bartel

Igor Basorovic

Dragan Bjelogrlic

Andrea Bowers

Romina Diaz Brarda

Maksa Catovic

Noam Chomsky

Susan Cohen

David Deitcher

Allan DeSouza

Dragan Djordjevic

Bob Doyle

Vesna Gosic

Wayne Hall

Robert Harris

Sharon Hayes

Andrija Ilic

Eungie Joo

Janet Kaplan

Ernst Karel

Kevin Kirwin

marko kocic

Danka Kojadinovic

Sergeant Ian Fitzgerald

John Gianvito

Aleksander Gubas

Charles Jevremovic

Alla Kovgan

Emir Kusturica

Miwon Kwon

Sowon Kwon

Beatrice LaCoste

Saul Levine

Lana Lin

Branka Lukic

Jessica Lutz

Alexander Lykourezos

Elia Machado

Ellen McMahon

Matt McMakin

Ana Miljacki

Mateja Miljacki

Dragan Milosovic

Michael Minelli

Ivan(a) Nedeljkovic

Bob Nesson

Nadya Nilina

Michael Oatman

Jelena Pavlovic

Vlada Petric

Andrea Ray

Humberto Ramirez

Antonio Riestra

Zoran Ristovic

Maria Roussi

Marie Shurkus

Arthur Silva

Janice Silva

Jeffrey Skoller

Vladan Stefanovic

Dragan Stokjkovic

Lucien Taylor

Patricia Thornley

Jasna & Vuk Vukovic

Faith Wilding


Organizational Thanks

Belgrade Zoo

DTV Group (Cambridge)

Komuna (Belgrade)

The Filmmakers Collaborative

Film Study Center - Harvard University

Marf Scakers

MIT Council for the Arts

Nea Ecologica

Somerville Arts Council

Television Studio B (Belgrade)

Vermont College of Fine Arts


Select Screenings:

October 20, 2008           Harvard Film Archive (Cambridge, MA)

May 1, 2008                   Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival - Göttingen, Germany

March 30, 2008              Best Documentary - Festival Cinemateca Uruguaya - Montevideo, Uruguay

February 21, 2008          Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)- NY Documentary Fortnights -08 - US Premiere

December 12, 2007        DocHouse Brussels, Belgium

December 3, 2007          ForumDocBH, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

October 6, 2007              Valdivia International Film festival - Chile

September 23, 2007       DokumentART Festival - Neubrandenburg, Germany

Purchase a DVD at Documentary Educational Resources

http://www.der.org/films/balkan-rhapsodies.html