2006-02-15

Turbofolk, jobs and dreams

Among the features at the Zagreb Dox Festival of Documentary Film will be Posao snova (The job of your dreams), a documentary on the folk music industry (turbo, sevdah, novokomp) by Danijela Majstorović. The film focuses on the experience of women in the industry, as the director explains:
"Relations of power, domination and patriarchal ideology can be seen best in the Bosnian entertainment industry. Entertainment and pop culture represent a microcosm of the society, especially now, since so many people identify with people from the small screen. Although I am very critical of folk culture myself [...] my film offers a bit of a different reading of the entertainment scene. «Posao snova» has multilevelled messages and it is not simply a critique of entertainment, but a finding about the situation in which a majority of women find themselves in contemporary Bosnia and Hercegovina, but also in Serbia, and maybe in a more subtle way in Croatia."
The film does cover the manipulative aspects of the industry, the objectification, the dominating "managers," and so on. But it does not stop there: with the participation of Lepa Brena, Hanka Paldum and other luminaries, the film also discusses the expressive and liberatory potential of commercial entertainment. Or as Brena puts it, "they could all think of me as meat, but that meat had some brains!" Prepare for the first film treatment that takes on the phenomenon in a way that respects its complexity at the Tuškanac cinema in Zagreb, at 5 PM on 25 February.

16 comments:

Catherine said...

If only I were in Zagreb! I'm sure you'll let us know if there's ever any way of getting copies (especially since it's a perspective from Bosnia - I mainly encounter the Croatian and Serbian ones).

I'm sure it will be rather more nuanced than the HTV Narodnjaci project, too....

Eric Gordy said...

I'll want a copy too if they become available. One of the producers of the film is B.a.B.e, I'd guess they might be the first people to ask. It looks like a step beyond what's been done so far!!!!

valerio said...

eric, thanks for the info about the movie. i'll definitely check it out. i have been working on my zagrebdox schedule, so i'll put it on the list.

by the way, last year at the zagreb film festival there was a movie on serbian porn industry, and i heard it was really good. i haven't had the chance to see it, but i'll try to get a copy.

i guess movies are an excellent way to present and discuss topics that are often out of reach for the academia.

Eric Gordy said...

Valerio, I've just run across this item at monitor.hr -- a Zagreb Dox video blog.

http://monitor.hr/vblog/

Just one short film there for now. But it looks like the festival organisers want to encourage an online presence:

http://www.zagrebdox.net/hrvatski/doxOnline_1.htm

So let's hope that stuff becomes available!

Catherine said...

In the same vein, any of you seen a Bulgarian documentary called Whose Is This Song? I keep being told I ought to take a look at it.

Eric Gordy said...

I haven't, but you remind me of the Bulgarian ethnomusicologist Claire Levy, who was starting to research chalga and related forms way before I got the idea. I don't know what she is up to now, but it is probably something interesting.

valerio said...

catherine, i've heard so much about that movie, but still didn't have chance to see it. hopefully i'll come across it some time soon.

eric, thanks for the link to the blog. i will be going to KIC today to see a couple of films, among them "posao snova". i'll put a comment or two about it once i get back home. should be good.

Catherine said...

Good call re: Claire Levy - she seemed to have a useful approach to chalga in the article of hers I read (in something Philip Bohlman edited; I think it's since been republished elsewhere).

She's still at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences as far as I know, and still working in that general direction (in fact, I've just put her into Google and it came back with a paper involving Lepa Brena's reception in Bulgaria that she gave in Slovenia some time ago).

Valerio, just in case you're in NYC, Slavs of New York were trailing it the other day... if not, I guess we'll have to both keep chasing it!

valerio said...

i went to see "posao snova" today, along with two other films that have been shown afterwards in KIC.

the film is good. it gave a persuasive picture of the poor economic situation in republika srpska and its socio-cultural repercussions. there were apperances by lepa brena (who spoke rather wisely about turbo folk industry), and many other prominent and, well, less prominent female singers. the overall impression that one is left with after the film is a mix of sadness and compassion for those women. people were laughing at the end of the film, but they were laughing to the grotesqe reality of republika srpska and serbia, that we in croatia have been lucky enough to avoid.

anyhow, i have a friend who works in factum, the NGO that organized the festival, so if you want copies of the film, or something, you should let me know.

other films were also good, especially the one titled "shaddya" about an arab-israeli girl who was winning karate championships across the world before her father married fer off to a conservative arab family in israel who don't allow her to do karate anymore because "woman's place is at home to take care of the husband and children". sad story, again.

catherine, sorry, but i'm not sure what "trailing" means. :-) i thought my english was good, but apparently... i'm not in nyc, unfortunately, but i would certainly be happy to hook up with some slavs in case i go back soon.

Eric Gordy said...

Yes, copies, we want copies! One for Catherine too!

valerio said...

eric, i'll certainly try to get those copies as soon as i can, and send them your way.

Catherine said...

Valerio - that's great! What do I need to do to get a copy?

(And I meant that SNY were announcing it, because it's showing somewhere in NYC in a few days' time. Sorry! Besides, if I'd been paying more attention, I'd have realised you weren't anywhere near NYC at the moment anyway :))

valerio said...

catherine, just send me a postal addresss where you want me to send it. i'll try to get the movie, but i can't promise anything, although it helps to know people who know people. you know how thing work around here. :-)

valerio: vabacakATgmail.com

Anonymous said...

I should be getting a copy of this movie by the end of March, and if the director agrees, I'll get it to you. Keep tuned....

Anonymous said...

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contact anberin@gmail.com. for profile google -anberin pasha.

Anonymous said...

Turbo folk, in my opinion, has killed the real values of our region. One of those values is Sevdah music (in its original shape and form).

This is why I am putting my best efforts into ressurecting this and promoting it around London and the rest of the world as much as possible.

Let me know what you think of our project.

www.londonsevdah.com
londonsevdah.blogspot.com