a documentary by Jan
Listening to old 78-rpm records the filmmaker tries to make the history of East Europe between 1918 and 1955 perceptible, but during his quest he finds out that he is also confronted with the history of his own family.
"Most exotic and romantic were the
records with indecipherable symbols instead of letters. They were
Russian. The music either whips you up or makes you excessively
sad, sung by someone whose name was Pjotr Leschenko. I remember
as an infant I rode wildly across the Russian steppes on a
footstool as a horse to a song I have only recently discovered
the lyrics to:
"It will rain and snow, storm will come, who will kiss me, unhappy as I am?"
From "Black Eyes" by Jan Bosdriesz
audience during Leschenko memorial concert in Moskow
Jan Bosdriesz father was a fanatical collector of gramophone records. Most exotic and romantic were the records by the Russian singer Pjotr Leschenko, the most popular Russian singer from the nineteen thirties and forties. Banned, yet heard everywhere and eventually he died in a Stalinist camp.
camp Sandbostel in Germany
In the film, Jan Bosdriesz will go looking for any memories he can find in Eastern Europe of Leschenko. Looking for memories of people for whom the music of Leschenko remains linked to important moment in their lives. For landscapes and locations in cities that have something to do with Leschenko and his music, both shot now and in archive footage. Archive footage which also reveals tangibly yet en passant something of the gruesome history of the 1930s and 1940s in Eastern Europe.
During his research trip, Jan Bosdriesz was however repeatedly confronted with memories of the family he grew up in. That will be also an important part of the film.
direction: Jan Bosdriesz
camera: Peter Lataster
sound: Tom d'Angremond
editing: Emile Bensdorp
music of: Pjotr Leschenko
line producer: Edwin Trommelen
produced by: Digna Sinke
the film is a
coproduction with NPS and has financial support of:
Nederlandse Fonds voor de Film CoBo Stimuleringsfonds Thuiskopie Fonds