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Sevdah (2009)
Sevdah (original title)
Documentary, 66 min
 
Production countries   Croatia,Bosnia-Herzegovina
Languages   Croatian,Bosnian
Director   Marina Andree Škop
Scriptwriters   Marina Andree Škop, Jelena Paljan
Producer   Marina Andree Škop
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Plot
Sevdah is a feeling about life imbued with melancholy, yearning and beautiful sorrow. In Bosnia it is expressed through their traditional sad song – sevdalinka. The death of their mutual friend and lover of sevdalinka, Farah, has brought musician Damir and director Marina together. Trying to deal with their own loss and grief, they decide to create a film about sevdah. They create it as an emotional, musical, lyrical and visual journey through the soul of Bosnia, through their own emotions and memories.
Director's Statement
In Bosnia, sevdah is as important as life, love, death, happiness, sorrow… and probably because it is so familiar and close to everyone, everyone in Bosnia will provide a different definition. Here, I will just briefly say that sevdah expresses a feeling of life, imbued with melancholy, yearning, beautiful sorrow. And sevdalinka is a song-form that expresses this feeling, encouraging it, and elevating it through music. This is why sevdalinka is often compared with fado or blues. However, whether we call it Bosnian fado or blues, the fact remains that sevdalinka is truly and uniquely Bosnian. It was born and spread within the borders of this small country. However, the beauty of it, what it sings about, and the emotion it conveys, all transcend those borders. All those things belong to human spiritual space. 
Instead of aiming to define sevdah, this film is evoking that feeling through stories, music and pictures. Different people bring these stories to film, but three of them carry three basic film lines. These people are Damir, Farah and me. The musician, the writer and the director. 
Damir Imamović, a musician from Sarajevo, who has been researching and performing sevdalinka for several years. It was not long after Damir learnt to sing sevdalinka in its pure, original form, that he discovered new ways of arranging and performing it. By fusing its traditional singing style with jazz instrumentation, he has truly given new life to sevdalinka songs. He began this journey on the prompting of his best friend Farah. 
Farah Tahirbegović, writer from Sarajevo, and Damir’s best friend, has been infected by sevdalinka ever since childhood. Sevdalinka songs left their mark on her essays on the Bosnian soul. Beautiful stories written by Farah are mapping the poetic plot of the film, sketching the contours of recent Bosnian history.  
My name is Marina Andree. I was born and raised in Sarajevo. 
What had to happen to me to become a character in this film and its director? There had to be a war. I had to move to another town. I had to stay there for more than half of my life. I had to grow up and acknowledge the extent to which Bosnia defines me. Farah had to show up in my life and remind me of that. Farah had to die, so I would comprehend how I became part of her journey through sevdah. 
Everything that happened has merged into my own personal sevdah and has given me the urge to express it. While spending time with Damir, I began to participate in the journey that he began with Farah, and I started to film it.  Together we stepped into world of sevdah, a place that does not exist in the material, apparent world, but does exist as a spiritual space: for people who live  and feel sevdah.  Through the journey, little by little, we realised that the truth of sevdah is not to be found by reaching far and wide but by digging deep. That we need to bury ourselves in our memories and emotions, to meet with ourselves and to contemplate: where does  this feeling of sevdah come from? Or, why are we part of sevdah?
 
Technical Specifications Image / Sound
Color / Black & White   Color
Sound format   Stereo
Aspect ratio   16:9
 
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Films of Marina Andree Škop
Sevdah
 
         
 
   
 
 
 
         
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