This film is a long, long search: Zlatina Ruseva before the premiere of Lost Memory documentary

A shot from the film

Reflection and comparison-between real events and processes and history-the way it is told. This is the main idea of Zlatina Ruseva’s documentary Lost Memory whose premiere will take place today in the frameworks of the 27th edition of Sofia Film Fest.

This is a film about memory, about our memory, renowned Bulgarian film director Zlatina Ruseva says. In fact, memory and history are two completely different things. We write history, in order to use it later. It has social functions as well. Memory is something that is hidden deep inside us, it shapes our identity. I use the river and the water as symbols in my movie. Many researches prove that water has a memory and even keeps emotions. Music is also a memory – it is a type of rhythmic perception of the world. The idea of this movie is that the memory of music awakens the memory of water and it starts sending us its memories. Thus, we travel in the past and the present at the same time. We have the feeling that two types of passengers embark on the ship- our contemporaries and a group of people which embarks on the ship let’s say some 70-80 years ago. The journey begins and the musicians start telling their memories while staring into the water. The water does the same. To me this film was very important, because I have the feeling that today people have lost their memory. The previous generations were very strongly connected with history. It is what shapes the identity and boost the self-confidence of a nation. One of the characters in the movie says: We perceive history the way it is told, whereas the river perhaps knows the truth about what had actually happened. In fact we can see how history repeats and many of the things happening today remind us of something that happened in the 1920’s or the 1930’s. With this movie we travel across the whole European history together with wonderful musicians and a group of passengers in their endless celebrations. Finally, we ask ourselves what are we heading towards, what kind of life we want to live and what lessons we have learnt.

Let us remind that years ago Zlatina Ruseva organized two editions of an extraordinary festival named Against the Stream. The stage was a cruise ship that departed from the Bulgarian shore on Danube and sailed against the river stream. Musicians, representing their national culture embarked on the ship every time it moored in a European port. The film director said back then that the video to that journey was huge in volume, but very exciting and unique. Who are the characters of this movie?

There are wonderful musicians in this movie-over 30 virtuoso musicians and personalities who influence the music and spiritual processes such as Bulgarians Petar Ralchev and Theodosii Spassov. Probably Europe’s best Roma band Romango, as well as Zoltán Lantos who is among the top ten musicians of our time also took part at the movie. Darbuka virtuoso Mısırlı Ahmet, who is among the best, if not the best players of this music instrument, arrives in Sofia especially for the premiere. He lived for many years in the Egyptian desert and learnt from the best players of this music instrument.Carlos Núñez Muñoz who is a true celebrity will also attend the premiere. The music to this film is extremely varied and this was one of the problems we faced during the cutting. I believe that we did a good job. The product is a metaphoric blend of human destinies, transition from one story and music style to another, synchrony between the memory of the river and the music. The film is music. I would even call it a poem. The sound to the movie creates additional reality, interaction between past and present and the river is the main character in the film. We were looking for the voice of the river for a very long time.

Zlatina’s husband Lubomir Georgiev is producer of the film. In 1989 Zlatina and Lubomir founded in Belgium a cultural center and a production company Diogenes. They organized the International Festival of Documentary Movie Millennium, a festival of Bulgarian culture in Brussels, etc. Cameraman Plamen Gerasimov, continuity editor Marieta Chukovska, musical designer Mariana Valkanova are also part of the team that worked under the Lost Memory documentary. The film premiere will be held tonight (March 8) in Lumiere Cinema. Later, some of the film’s characters and their friends will attend a music party

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photo: library

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