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Brasslands (2013)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 1 January 2015 (Germany)
Half a million people descend upon a tiny Serbian village for the 50th anniversary of the world's largest trumpet festival. Brasslands chronicles the cultural and musical collisions through... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Emerson Hawley Emerson Hawley ... Tuba player
Dejan Petrovic Dejan Petrovic ... Band leader


Half a million people descend upon a tiny Serbian village for the 50th anniversary of the world's largest trumpet festival. Brasslands chronicles the cultural and musical collisions through the personal journeys of 3 musicians - American, Serbian, Roma - whose lives are bound to Balkan brass for very different reasons. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Music


Not Rated

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Archival material includes: "In Studio: Zlatne Uste" sound-check, WNYC / "March 23, 1999 CBS Evening News" reported by Dan Rather / "Serbia Recalls 1999 NATO Attack" March, 24, 2009, RTS News / GUCA 2010 International Competition" Pink TV / "NATO Airstrikes Commence on Yugoslavia" RTE News / "Statement on Kosovo Intervention" March 24, 1999 by President Bill Clinton / "March 24, 1999 ABC World News" reported by Peter Jennings. See more »


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User Reviews

Truth vs Fiction
27 October 2016 | by Radu_ASee all my reviews

I was at the same 50th installment of the festival, and unfortunately this documentary fazes out a few very obvious facts.

Guča is the biggest event in Serbia and therefore a showcase of Serbian culture. That also means revisionist T-Shirts and items glorifying the ill-fated wars of the 90s. And lots of folklore in the early hours program. Nothing really wrong with that, the Serbs do have a right to feel wronged by a process that wound up leaving them isolated. But the film fails to mention nationalism all but in passing, even though it's a huge presence in Guča.

The REALLY good bands that year performed at a hillside restaurant a short walk from the village center, because at that period the festival was dominated by Serbian bands. Not that those were bad, but the Romani bands struggling to survive played for pay among the crowds. The film team chose to interview just a few of them, ignoring the huge tent village at the river bed. They decided to focus on a competing US band, which makes this film an exploitative piece of an "exotic" setting, when the team had all the history of the region at their disposal.

In recent years, fortunately, there has been a renaissance of Romani players in the competition. That has brought some of the fantastic spirit of this festival back, which it had lost at the time owing to its rapid growth. So instead of watching this film, which is a missed opportunity, go and experience Guča for yourself.

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Release Date:

1 January 2015 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Arhisan ta organa See more »

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