films

linefork-posterLINEFORK (2016) 98 Minutes
Co-Directed with Vic Rawlings

Deep in Kentucky coal country, Lee & Opal Sexton continue to farm their land along Linefork Creek well into their eighties.A living link to the deep past of American music,Lee is a revered banjo legend and retired coal miner. Though hampered by hearing loss, Lee continues to perform at square dances and teach his distinctive style to a new generation eager to preserve their endangered cultural traditions.Filmed over three years, Linefork offers an immersive view of Lee and Opal’s daily rituals and inherent resiliency; it also documents a raw yet delicate music, linked to the past yet immediately present.

Link to film website http://linefork.com/

Ivan & Ivana (2011) 80 minutes

Ivan and Ivana

After surviving 78 days of NATO bombings (1999) and attacks of ethnic hatred and rebuttals for the Milosovic government’s cruel treatment of Albanian citizens, Ivan and Ivana escaped Kosovo for America to restart and rebuild their lives from scratch. But they could have never imagined that their quest for freedom, peace and prosperity would be fraught with such complexity, pain, and heartbreak.

Ivan and Ivana’s rapid success and prosperity exemplifies the possibility and promise of that lures so many immigrants to come to the United States, but beyond the facade of beautiful homes and cars reveals a more complex vision of an immigrant experience. The film explores the attraction as well as the ambivalence to the glitz and glamour associated with Hollywood’s depiction of the USA by juxtaposing the hardships, successes and the humorous escapades of this young immigrant couple.

Visit the official website at ivanandivana.com.

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Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War (2008) 55 minutes

Still from Balkan Rhapsodies

Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War 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.

Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War can be purchased at Documentary Educational Resources.

link to extract: https://vimeo.com/17293891