Song of Lives (dir. Csaba Bereczki)




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In a village deep in Transylvania, a number of people are attending the funeral of a great Gypsy-Hungarian violinist, who died at the age of 76. His death brought together all the musicians in the region, for they all considered him their master. They live far apart in different areas of Transylvania. Right here, there are playing in memory of their master. The Master is gone, but a new group is born, an orchestra of 27 musicians. Gypsies, Rumanians, and Hungarians -- all of Transylvania is here.

The Master’s successor, István Jámbor, nicknamed “Dumnezeu” (God), is the leader of the group from the village of Tchavach. The other protagonists of the film include Demi Arton, “Titi”, who lost his whole family; the old Zerkula, who has been nearly blind since his childhood, but his voice and violin play are legendary; Stefan Moldovan, and Florin, founders of the orchestra of Palatka; Marcel and Florin, a big fat singer and his young little guitarist friend; and many others who have barely known each other until the Master’s death.
Like air or food, music is part of their lives. It’s simple, natural, vital, and magical. The film (like a gentle road-movie) discovers these tragic and happy moments through different (fallible and successful) destinies; their music, however, is eternal.