CROWDFUNDING INVITATION (June 24 - Sept. 24, 2019) 

SUPPORT THE FILMPROJECT at www.startnext.com 

Belina - Music For Peace 

 

With a very special documentary film, filmmaker Marc Boettcher (who made many film portraits, including Alexandra, Bert Kaempfert, Gitte Haenning, Inge Brandenburg) wants to draw attention to the universal language of music. Because music connects people of different origins, religions and colours and is understood all over the world. 

The focus is on the fate and career of the Jewish-Polish singer BELINA (1925-2006), whom Boettcher got to meet in person. With her versatile, first and foremost folkloristic repertoire, she is regarded as a bridgebuilder between peoples and cultures. Nina Lea Rodzynek, who was born not far from Treblinka, lost almost her entire family at the beginning of the Second World War. Under false names, the 16-year-old managed to escape to Hamburg, where she had to work as a forced laborer in a factory. Denunciated by Polish compatriots, she was sent to the Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp. There, in mortal fear, she cut off a finger phalanx and thus escaped deportation. With the help of a pastor she fled from the hospital  to Lübeck . After the war, she went to her aunt in Paris and received the French citizenship. She had her first success with Yiddish and Russian folklore under the artist's name BELINA. In 1963 the TV movie "Belina - Portrait in Music", shot by Truck Branns, helped providing an international breakthrough. In the following years she travelled the world together with the Berlin guitarist Siegfried Behrend (1933-1990) on behalf of the Goethe-Institut, sometimes in regions where there had never been any concerts before or which were shaken by political unrest. She performed in more than 120 countries and sang in 17 languages. Despite the trauma she had suffered, she became a "musical diplomat", after the war, pursuing the path of reconciliation and advocating tolerance and equality between Germans Jews and the other peoples of the world. Belina's long-awaited return to her native country, Poland, however, was a personal catastrophe. There she experienced rejection and incomprehension. She had finally lost her homeland. She moved to her son in Hamburg. After the separation from her guitarist, the record industry tried to reduce Belina to cheap hits again - as at the beginning of her career. She rejected that. After an unsuccessful comeback in the 80s, Belina quit the boards. After her death in 2006 she found her last rest at the Jewish cemetery in Hamburg, which was her own request. 

The audience experiences a musical and cultural  journey through time. While Belina's story is told, family members, contemporary witnesses, journalists, among them Belina's son Michel Rodzynek and Sharon Adler as well as the artists Nana Mouskouri, Joana Emetz, Sharon Brauner, Alexandra Marisa Wilcke, Djatou Touré, Katharine Mehrling and Jocelyn B. Smith, reflect on Belina's career, draw parallels to their own life experiences and pursue the question: Can a revival of the successful folk wave of the 60s bring people together again? The Argentine clarinettist Giora Feidman says in Boettcher's film: "Love your enemies! - How can we throw bombs and destroy what is important to us? How can we kill people who are like ourselves instead of just talking to the alleged enemy and finding a peaceful solution?”

Filmmaker Marc Boettcher: "With such a topic, which is of burning topicality especially today in times of war, racism, refugee flows and right-wing populism, it is astonishing how difficult it is to find editors, record companies and t movie sponsors. Again and again we hear that "the subject-matter is not commercial enough that you can't use it. Nobody knows the protagonists anymore". In spite of all the resistance, we have always been able to finally realize our  of the heart and found a grateful audience. Starting from 24 June 2019 we will try crowdfunding for the first time, a form of group financing where any amount is welcome. You can support us at https://www.startnext.com/belina-music-for-peace (www.startnext.com). Once the first funding target of €30,000 has been reached, nothing will stand in the way of completing the project. Thanks to you, we can cover part of our costs, and everyone will receive a thank-you, if they wish." 

Movie trailer + more information at: www.boettcher-film.de + www.facebook.com/belinarodzynek

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