danubestory danubestory

documentary photo, video and film production non-profit company run by two photographers, documentary filmmakers and writing reporters Vladimir Kampf a Jana Cavojska

Collections created

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Danube Story
Bratislava
By danubestory
23 Sep 2014

DanubeStory tells stories of people and their relationship to the second longest river in Europe, the Danube. Slovakian filmmakers Jana Cavojska and Vladimir Kampf traveled on and along the 3 000 kilometer-long river several times, upstream and downstream, in search of people and practices to tell the story of their country and region. A colorful mix of their lives and livelihoods is beautifully intertwined with the simple story of the river. Despite of the fact that the richest are close to the source of the Danube, and the standard of living goes down with the stream of the river, none of the stories lament a destiny, but rather celebrate this unique mix of lively cultures and practices.

In part 1 of the film viewers will flow downstream in the summer and meet a biofarmer and guardian of a river spring in Germany, a traditional wooden ship builder in Austria, a biologist and underwater photographer in Slovakia, a bridge maintainer in Hungary, an ornithologist in Croatia, a gallery owner in Serbia, a distiller in Bulgaria, a musician in Moldova, a photographer in Ukraine and a frog hunter in Romania.

In part 2 of the film viewers will head upstream in wintertime and meet a hotel manager in Ukraine, a speech pathologist in Moldova, a choir master in Bulgaria, a kayak trainer in Romania, a ferry operator in Serbia, a mercenary soldier in Croatia, a mask maker in Hungary, a shipman in Slovakia, a café owner in Austria and a hat maker in Germany.

This film may also be viewed as a series of 5 minute videos on each character.

Media created

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Refugees in Red Cross Tents in Austria
Nickelsdorf, Austria
By danubestory
07 Sep 2015

Thousands of refugees entered Austria on foot from Hungary on Saturday and Sunday. Austria and Germany opened borders for them after they got stuck in Budapest train station Keleti for several days. Refugees walked on foot and were later taken by 60 buses from Hungarian authorities to the border which they crossed on foot. After stopping buses, some people decided to walk to Austria, some were donated with train and bus tickets from Hungarian citizens and charities and some were driven to the border by people in private cars.
In Austria, exausted refugees got warm welcome from Red Cross people, social workers of Bundeswehr and volunteers. People donated food, drinks, clothes, toys to them.
In the bordertown of Nickelsdorf, refugees can rest and wait for trains and buses to Vienna and Germany. German police took controll over the situation and trains are guarded by German policemen. Refugees wait near railway station or in the hangar built originally for famous Nova Rock music festival. There are hygienical facilities, warm blankets, field beds, food, drinks, donated clothers and shoes. For children, toys and various activities are prepared.
Numbers of refugees resting in hangar are changing. At this time, approximately 300 people are waiting for next transport to Germany. Another 100 is waiting in the railway station. For those crossing the border by foot, the buses are waiting directly there and transport them to the train.
"Austria is perfect,“ thanks Ibrahim, young man from Syria for everything. "Austrian people gave us smile, hug, food. We feel welcomed here." They blame Hungary for getting them closed in railway station in Budapest with no facilities and for police actions they experienced there. Despite all, children are full of energy. They discover new toys and want to try each facility the hangar and outside land offer to them. They can draw, paint, bicycle, play footbal, take toys which they like. They want to spend every moment by playing and doing things so natural for their age – and different from those they experienced along their journey from war zones.
There are also newborn babies. Nadja whose parents are from Afghanistan was born on the way, in Greece, six weeks ago. Her young mother managed to continue walking to Austria.
Further she will continue in comfortable speed train, offered for free by Austrian and German authorities.
During the weekend, 12 000 asylum seekers entered Austria and continued towards Germany.

Shotlist:
00:00 SOT: Sabine Lamberti, a Austrian volunteer:
No, not really. Why sould we be afraid? I mean, there are bad people, maybe there are bad people, but you also have bad people in Austria. Do you know what I mean? I mean in every country you have good people and you have bad people. It does have nothing to do with the nationality. I by myself I own a castle, Schloss Konigshof, that´s in Bruckneudorf, and I should get first refugees next week who will live in my castle because my castle is very big, I have 60 500 square metres just living alone with two dogs. So I said: Okay, there are such a lot of people who are sleeping on the street in Traiskirchen who don´t have anymore a place, living in tents in the street, on the floor. So I open my castle and I will have the people to say: Welcome and live in my castle. Next week I should get the first.
I am here because I want to help that people who are such a long time on the trip to come in a country where is no war, where nobody is behind them, and to help them and to say: Hello, welcome, welcome, welcome.
There were people with who I was crying when the came from the bus. They are so nice. They are coming here with nothing, with flipflops on their feet, and yesterday evening it was so cold and such a wind. And to help them – everybody has to do it. They are human beings and we should all together help them.
00:09: W/S: Hangar originally built for Nova Rock music festival is now full of refugees who rest here before last part of their journey, to Germany.
00:16: W/S: Young men playing football in front of a hangar in Nickelsdorf while waiting for transport to Germany.
00:23: M/S: Man resting in front of a hangar in Nickelsdorf while waiting for transport to Germany.
00:30: W/S: People resting after exhausting walk thru Hungary towards Austrian border.
00:38: M/S: Refugees discussing while resting and waiting for transport to Germany in a hangar in Nickelsdorf.
00:44: M/S: Refugees receiving food from volunteers in hangar in Nickelsdorf, Austria.
00:51: M/S: Refugees receiving food from volunteers in hangar in Nickelsdorf, Austria.
00:58: M/S: Refugees resting and waiting for transport to Germany in a hangar in Nickelsdorf.
01:05: D/S: Man resting before next journey to the Germany.
01:12: SOT: Sabine Lamberti, a volunteer
01:20: D/S: Welcome to Europe – Austrian volunteers have written on the Hungarian – Austrian border to show to the refugees different attitude towards them as they experienced in Budapest.
01:28: D/S: Sabine Lamberti welcoming new refugees who already reached Austria.
01:38: D/S: Woman trying to find suitable clean clothers for her family among things donated by Austrian people.
01:45: W/S: Ambulance vehicles and mobile toilets near the railway station in bordertown of Nickelsdorf from where special refugee trains to Vienna and Germany depart.
01:52: M/S: Refugees waiting for train to Germany in Nickelsdorf railway station.
01:59: M/S: TV crews working on Nickelsdorf railway station, covering the migration crisis.
02:27: W/S: Refugees entering the special train in railway station in Nickelsdorf which will transport them to Vienna for the next train to Germany.
02:15: W/S: Refugees entering the special train in railway station in Nickelsdorf which will transport them to Vienna for the next train to Germany.
02:22: W/S: Special train for refugees is departing from Nickelsdorf.

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Refugees in Red Cross Tents in Austri...
Nickelsdorf, Austria
By danubestory
07 Sep 2015

Thousands of refugees entered Austria on foot from Hungary on Saturday and Sunday. Austria and Germany opened borders for them after they got stuck in Budapest train station Keleti for several days. Refugees walked on foot and were later taken by 60 buses from Hungarian authorities to the border which they crossed on foot. After stopping buses, some people decided to walk to Austria, some were donated with train and bus tickets from Hungarian citizens and charities and some were driven to the border by people in private cars.
In Austria, exausted refugees got warm welcome from Red Cross people, social workers of Bundeswehr and volunteers. People donated food, drinks, clothes, toys to them.
In the bordertown of Nickelsdorf, refugees can rest and wait for trains and buses to Vienna and Germany. German police took controll over the situation and trains are guarded by German policemen. Refugees wait near railway station or in the hangar built originally for famous Nova Rock music festival. There are hygienical facilities, warm blankets, field beds, food, drinks, donated clothers and shoes. For children, toys and various activities are prepared.
Numbers of refugees resting in hangar are changing. At this time, approximately 300 people are waiting for next transport to Germany. Another 100 is waiting in the railway station. For those crossing the border by foot, the buses are waiting directly there and transport them to the train.
„Austria is perfect,“ thanks Ibrahim, young man from Syria for everything. „Austrian people gave us smile, hug, food. We feel welcomed here.“ They blame Hungary for getting them closed in railway station in Budapest with no facilities and for police actions they experienced there. Despite all, children are full of energy. They discover new toys and want to try each facility the hangar and outside land offer to them. They can draw, paint, bicycle, play footbal, take toys which they like. They want to spend every moment by playing and doing things so natural for their age – and different from those they experienced along their journey from war zones.
There are also newborn babies. Nadja whose parents are from Afghanistan was born on the way, in Greece, six weeks ago. Her young mother managed to continue walking to Austria.
Further she will continue in comfortable speed train, offered for free by Austrian and German authorities.
During the weekend, 12 000 asylum seekers entered Austria and continued towards Germany.

00:00: W/S: Hangar originally built for Nova Rock music festival is now full of refugees who rest here before last part of their journey, to Germany.
00:07: W/S: Young men playing football in front of a hangar in Nickelsdorf while waiting for transport to Germany.
00:14: M/S: Man resting in front of a hangar in Nickelsdorf while waiting for transport to Germany.
00:21: W/S: People resting after exhausting walk thru Hungary towards Austrian border.
00:28: M/S: Refugees discussing while resting and waiting for transport to Germany in a hangar in Nickelsdorf.
00:35: M/S: Refugees receiving food from volunteers in hangar in Nickelsdorf, Austria.
00:42: M/S: Refugees receiving food from volunteers in hangar in Nickelsdorf, Austria.
00:49: M/S: Refugees resting and waiting for transport to Germany in a hangar in Nickelsdorf.
00:56: D/S: Man resting before next journey to the Germany.
01:03: SOT: Sabine Lamberti, a volunteer:
No, not really. Why sould we be afraid? I mean, there are bad people, maybe there are bad people, but you also have bad people in Austria. Do you know what I mean? I mean in every country you have good people and you have bad people. It does have nothing to do with the nationality.
01:28: D/S: Welcome to Europe – Austrian volunteers have written on the Hungarian – Austrian border to show to the refugees different attitude towards them as they experienced in Budapest.
01:35: D/S: Sabine Lamberti welcoming new refugees who already reached Austria.
01:45: D/S: Woman trying to find suitable clean clothers for her family among things donated by Austrian people.
01:53: W/S: Ambulance vehicles and mobile toilets near the railway station in bordertown of Nickelsdorf from where special refugee trains to Vienna and Germany depart.
01:59: M/S: Refugees waiting for train to Germany in Nickelsdorf railway station.
02:07: M/S: TV crews working on Nickelsdorf railway station, covering the migration crisis.
02:15: W/S: Refugees entering the special train in railway station in Nickelsdorf which will transport them to Vienna for the next train to Germany.
02:22: W/S: Refugees entering the special train in railway station in Nickelsdorf which will transport them to Vienna for the next train to Germany.
02:29: W/S: Special train for refugees is departing from Nickelsdorf.

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Kenya's Sengwer Tribe Faces Eviction ...
Embobut, Kenya
By danubestory
06 Mar 2015

Embobut, Kenya
March 6, 2015

The Sengwer, a tribe of hunter-gatherers and beekeepers who also keep livestock, have lived in Cherangany mountains in Kenya - land they consider sacred - for centuries. Today, they face eviction from their ancestral lands. Approximately 12,000 people were told to move from the forest area to make way for a nature conservation and reforestation project financed by the Kenyan government and the World Bank. The Sengwer, however, pride themselves for their traditional methods for preserving their heritage lands. When they refused, forest guards began burning down their houses.

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Remembering the Vukovar Massacres
Vukovar, Croatia
By danubestory
03 Feb 2015

During the war for the former Yugoslavia, the town of Vukovar was among the most devastated by fighting between Serbian and Croatian forces. Houses bear clear signs of the fierce shelling that took place, and the town’s now bullet hole-ridden water tower rests as a reminder of the siege and the cruel fate that befell the town and its citizens until now. The battle of Vukovar lasted for 87 days, during which many people were stuck in the town, finding refuge in cellars or public bomb shelters that also hosted makeshift hospitals. After entering the city, Serbian troops were alleged to have taken civilians and wounded soldiers from these hospitals into the Ovčara farm where they massacred them.

Today, Vukovar remains a divided town. War crimes committed there remain unsolved and the people who committed them, unpunished. Steve Gaunt, a former Croat mercenary who took part in the fight for Vukovar, now works as a historian and explorer for the local museum. He talks of his experience of the war, of Vukovar's troubled present, and of the struggle for normality faced by people who still live side-by-side with those they used to fight.

On February 4, 2015, the International Court of Justice dismissed claims of genocide committed by Serbia and Croatia during the Yugoslav war, that took hundreds of thousands of lives in the early-1990s. The court cited a lack of evidence that the massacres constituted genocide - a difficult claim to prove because the prosecution must be able to prove the intentions of the perpetrators.

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Ukraine: A Ritual Bath in the Frigid ...
Izmail, Ukraine
By danubestory
19 Jan 2014

On the 19th of January, Ukrainian Orthodox Christians observe a special tradition aimed at washing away all their sins and securing good health. One by one they enter the frigid water of a river or lake and submerge themselves three times. In the town of Izmail, this ritual is performed on the banks of the river Danube. In the past, only men bathed in the icy river. Now, ladies also plunge into the cold of the river. On the beach it seems like a hot summer day: ladies in bikinis gather and laugh. However, people well dressed in winter coats remind one of the cold January weather.

Christening, called “Krescenie“ in Ukrainian, is not just about bathing. People meet on the banks of the river and have barbecues, grilling meat, drinking and socializing. Musicians are always nearby. With mulled wine and vodka, the faithful soon forget the cold weather.

Andrey Stefoglo, resident of Izmail, was born with his left hand deformed. Nonetheless, he found work as a hotel manager on a German cruise ship. He is among the luckier of Izmail’s people: he has a good job. The region is poor, being nearly forgotten after the collapse of Soviet Union. People here usually speak Russian. The area was once called Besarabia, and over time, belonged to the Ottoman Empire, Romania and Russia. Here, people of forty ethnic groups and nationalities coexist without any problems.

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Sample media
For cross to ice-cold water
Vidin
By danubestory
04 Jan 2015

On January 6th, Orthodox believers in Bulgaria must jump into ice - cold waters of river or lake to catch a wooden cross. They call it Jordanov den (Day of Jordan), on which they commemorate baptisation of Jesus Christ in the Jordan river. Orthodox priests hallow water in churches and people then walk to the nearest river or lake. After a ceremony, priest throws wooden cross into the water and believers must jump for it. As it is January, weather is very cold, somewhere there is ice on water surface, temperatures are under 0... Who gets the cross will be blessed.
But in many places there aren ´t people willing to jump into the river. So municipalities offer small amount of money to the jumpers to keep the tradition. People there jump to earn something, as the poverty rate is very high in Bulgaria. Not for religious reasons. In some places, mostly the poorest Roma people jump for small reward. "But they say they are muslims," people are laughing on banks.

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Slovakia's Good Luck Fish Dish
Trnava
By danubestory
20 Dec 2014

In general, people in Slovakia are not used to eating fish, but around the winter holidays, Slovakians and other eastern Europeans enjoy a local specialty: fried horse-shoe shaped slices of carp served with a mayonnaise potato salad. The horse-shoe shape is viewed as a sign of good luck. The carp are bred in special ponds and then are distributed to specialist shops in all the towns and villages before the holidays. Many Slovakians keep the fish alive in their bath tubs before preparing the traditional meal.

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Slovakia: Bratislava's White-Gloved H...
Bratislava
By danubestory
08 Dec 2014

Donning dapper navy blue uniforms and traditional caps, complete with pristine white gloves, a few of Bratislava’s homeless have revived the role of the traditional baggage porter.

Bratislava Railway Station is a dowdy, yet charming old building with scarce facilities and no modern equipment, making it less accessible to elderly people, families traveling with children, and people carrying heavy luggage. Getting to the train with heavy bags and baby strollers is a real challenge. Meanwhile, outside the train station approximately four to five thousand homeless people face harsh conditions with little chance of find work. A local NGO called Proti Prudu (Against the Stream) works with the homeless, providing them with a street paper called Nota Bene, that they offer to passers by in exchange for spare change. Now, they have launched an ingenious project offering part-time jobs to seven of the homeless they work with to attack both issues. They pay the porters for part-time work helping people with their bags, free of charge. These men who once depended completely on the help of others are finding a bit of much needed economic stability and a new sense of social pride by offering a much appreciated hand to others.

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Slovakia: Bratislava's White-Gloved H...
Bratislava
By danubestory
09 Dec 2014

Donning dapper navy blue uniforms and traditional caps, complete with pristine white gloves, a few of Bratislava’s homeless have revived the role of the traditional baggage porter.

Bratislava Railway Station is a dowdy, yet charming old building with scarce facilities and no modern equipment, making it less accessible to elderly people, families traveling with children, and people carrying heavy luggage. Getting to the train with heavy bags and baby strollers is a real challenge. Meanwhile, outside the train station approximately four to five thousand homeless people face harsh conditions with little chance of find work. A local NGO called Proti Prudu (Against the Stream) works with the homeless, providing them with a street paper called Nota Bene, that they offer to passers by in exchange for spare change. Now, they have launched an ingenious project offering part-time jobs to seven of the homeless they work with to attack both issues. They pay the porters for part-time work helping people with their bags, free of charge. These men who once depended completely on the help of others are finding a bit of much needed economic stability and a new sense of social pride by offering a much appreciated hand to others.

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Laughing at Death: Europe's Happiest ...
Sapanta
By danubestory
04 Dec 2014

While the lives of Sapanta residents is marked by the rhythm of horse-drawn ploughs, of looms spinning wool into rough blankets and cloth for clothes, and the distilling of 'tuica' (TSUI-ka), a potent local fruit liquor; their deaths are marked with color and humor.

In this northern Romanian village, the “Merry Cemetery” brings smiles or cheeky grins to the faces of visitors and locals there to pay their respects to the dead. Colorfully painted, handed-crafted oak tombstones tell the stories of the lives and deaths of the deceased in a humorous, brutally honest tone. The “Merry Cemetery” in Sapanta is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and draws thousands of tourists every year.

The tradition started when a local woodworker named Stan Ioan Patras carved and painted the first tombstone in 1935, gracing it with a lighthearted epitaph that he came up with to commemorate the death of a neighbor. After his death in 1977, woodworker, painter, poet and farmer Dumitru Pop took residence in his workshop and kept the tradition alive. When a member of the community dies, he goes to work coming up with an (often hilarious) epitaph that best represents the deceased, carving a playful scene and painting the tombstone in bright blues, reds, greens and earthtones. Mr. Pop’s background in classical and contemporary Romanian literature gives his epitaphs a resonance that goes deep into the village’s collective memory.

Some ethnologists studying the cemetery believe that the lighthearted and humorous attitude towards death in this region may be a remnant of Dacian culture. Early inhabitants of Romania, the Dacians greeted death with open arms because it meant meeting the greatest of their gods, Zalmoxis. As in many cultures, certain attitudes and practices were easily integrated into monotheistic worldviews that came later, in this case Orthodox Christianity. According to a local Orthodox priest, people in the region do not necessarily see death as if it were a tragedy, but rather as a passage to another life.

The practice even survived Romania’s communist era despite Soviet communism’s largely atheistic and secular worldview. A grave marker commemorating Ioan Holdis, a local Communist official reads:

“As long as I lived, I loved the Party And all my life I tried to help the people.”

However, the best loved epitaphs are the funniest, the ones that make mourning and remembering the dead a hilarious affair:

“Under this heavy cross Lies my poor mother in-law Three more days she would have lived
I would lie, and she would read (this cross).
You, who here are passing by
Not to wake her up please try
Cause' if she comes back home
She'll criticize me more.
But I will surely behave
So she'll not return from grave.
Stay here, my dear mother in-law!”

Shot list and Subtitles

(00:05 – 00:11) W/S In a small village in Romania, a cemetery makes people smile. (00:12 -00:17) D/M Cheerful, colourful tombstones tell the stories of people who lived in the village of Sapanta in country’s north. (00:18 – 00:23) D/S The unconventional way of commemorating the deceased cheerfully and honestly shows death as an inevitability. (00:24 – 00:29) D/S Gravestones here tell of the persons virtues but tell the truth about their vices. (00:30 – 00:35) W/S The “Merry Cemetery” was declared as a UNESCO site, (00:36 – 00:41) W/S one of the reasons Sapanta is among the most visited Romanian villages. (00:42 – 00:47) W/S A church in the middle of the cemetery solemnly venerates the saints (00:48 – 00:53) D/S But common mortals may be humorous. (00:54 – 00:59) M/M Thanks to vibrant illustrations, visitors understand the stories of people from the village even if they don’t read Romanian. (01:00 – 01:05) M/S “Here lies the good tractor operator.” (01:06 – 01:11) D/S “Here the hardworking farmer rests in peace.” (01:12 – 01:17) M/M This person died in a car accident. (01:18 – 01:23) D/S “Father and son.” (01:24 – 01:29) D/S “A man drowned in the river.” (01:30 – 01:35) M/S The first painted wooden cross was made here in 1935. (01:36 – 01:41) M/M This humorous way of commemorating the dead was the idea of local woodworker Stan Ioan Patras. (01:42 – 01:47) W/M He lived and worked on his carvings in this house near the cemetery. (01:48 – 01:53) M/S He even carved naive portraits of Romanian communist dictator Ceausescu and his government (01:54 – 01:59) M/S and of notable townsmen. (02:00 – 02:05) W/M The workshop has bustled with activity and honest humor ever since. After Patras’ death in 1977, Dumitru Pop took over the workshop. (02:06 – 02:11) W/S Locals believe that humorous verses are the best way to remember their loved ones. (02:18 – 02:23) But they are not allowed to tell Dumitru what shall he write. (02:24 – 02:29) D/S Each wooden is crafted precisely by hand.. (02:30 – 02:35) D/S They are all made from local oak (02:36 – 02:41) M/S and painted with vivid colours. The main color is blue, the color of heaven, where the living strive to end up. (02:42 – 02:47) M/S Dumitru says that the epitaphs are all true stories. (02:48 – 02:53) D/S Perhaps death is easier, knowing that his learned hands will make a cheerful tombstone in ones commemoration. (02:54 – 02:59) D/S “Busy housewives but also mischiefs are waiting for them.” (03:00 – 03:05) D/S On the tombstone of a distiller the epitaph reads: “Everybody in Sapanta loved me, as I produced elixir of life.

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Inside Slovakia's Traditional Sauerkr...
Svedernik
By danubestory
27 Nov 2014

Every delicacy costs something. Producing real-deal, traditional sauerkraut in commercial quantities means hard work for a group ladies devoted to the craft.

Sauerkraut is full of vitamins and probiotics. It also cleanses the digestive system. However, the forced fermentation of vegetables for supermarkets means that these products don’t contain the C and B vitamins or probiotics that make sauerkraut a balanced food source. In this sauerkraut factory in the Slovakian village of Svedernik, cabbage is naturally fermented, adding only salt and caraway seeds for flavor. Other than these simple ingredients, the factory relies only on huge wooden barrels and hardworking ladies wielding sharp knives to produce its signature kraut.

Sauerkraut has a long tradition in the Balkan countries, in Central Europe and in Germany. People used to conserve cabbage by fermentation to eat during the winter when no fresh fruit or vegetables were available. Many traditional dishes - including the popular Christmas meal for Slovakians, sauerkraut soup - are made from the cabbage fermented here.

For the most part, Italians and other coastal nations in Europe don’t eat it. This seems strange, because in the past eating pickled cabbage used to be the only way for seamen to ensure they had enough vitamin C to avoid scurvy during long shipping voyages.

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Danube Story 2 : Upstream in winter
Bratislava
By danubestory
01 Jan 2014

Length: 54'
Subtitled English
NSV available
See script in Collection

DanubeStory tells stories of people and their relationship to the second longest river in Europe, the Danube. Filmmakers Jana Cavojska and Vladimir Kampf traveled on and along the 3 000 kilometer-long river several times in search of people and practices to tell the story of their country and region. A colorful mix of their lives and livelihoods is beautifully intertwined with the simple story of the river. Despite of the fact that the the richest are close to the source of the Danube, and the standard of living goes down with the stream of the river, none of the stories lament a destiny, but rather celebrate this unique mix of lively cultures and practices.

In part 2 of the film viewers will head upstream in wintertime and meet a hotel manager in Ukraine, a speech pathologist in Moldova, a choir master in Bulgaria, a kayak trainer in Romania, a ferry operator in Serbia, a mercenary soldier in Croatia, a mask maker in Hungary, a shipman in Slovakia, a café owner in Austria and a hat maker in Germany.

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Danube Story 1 : Downstream in summer...
Central Europe
By danubestory
01 Jan 2014

Length: 54'
Subtitled English
NSV available
See script in Collection

DanubeStory tells stories of people and their relationship to the second longest river in Europe, the Danube. Filmmakers Jana Cavojska and Vladimir Kampf traveled on and along the 3 000 kilometer-long river several times in search of people and practices to tell the story of their country and region. A colorful mix of their lives and livelihoods is beautifully intertwined with the simple story of the river. Despite of the fact that the the richest are close to the source of the Danube, and the standard of living goes down with the stream of the river, none of the stories lament a destiny, but rather celebrate this unique mix of lively cultures and practices.

In part 1 of the film viewers will flow downstream in the summer and meet a biofarmer and guardian of a river spring in Germany, a traditional wooden ship builder in Austria, a biologist and underwater photographer in Slovakia, a bridge maintainer in Hungary, an ornithologist in Croatia, a gallery owner in Serbia, a distiller in Bulgaria, a musician in Moldova, a photographer in Ukraine and a frog hunter in Romania.