Orchestra


Orchestra

Directed by Matevz Luzar

  • Slovenia;

  • GOOD TO GO previous work of director Matevz Luzar, available for screening on Festival Scope

Synopsis

A miners’ wind orchestra from Slovenia goes on tour to a small twin Austrian town to perform at the Wind Orchestra Festival in the parade section. We follow five different stories – five different perspectives during the tour of an orchestra. The first story is focused on orchestra’s bus drivers. Rajko (55) has been a bus driver for thirty years. His co-driver on this journey to Austria is his new co-worker Emir (24), a second generation Bosnian, who has replaced Rajko’s elder colleague. Rajko feels threatened by Emir, as the company is in the process of laying off or replacing older drivers with much younger ones. Rajko is convinced that he would lose his job upon returning home. When Emir damages the bus, Rajko sees this as a window of opportunity to keep his job, as if the accident was going to prove that Emir is too inexperienced. Rajko hopes that the company would let go of Emir instead. Stojan (46) is the wind orchestra conductor and also a father of two of orchestra members – teenagers Marusa (16) and Cene (15) who join him on tour for the first time. During this tour, Maruša and Cene are more or less free to do as they wish, because their father is more involved with orchestra organization and partying. On their night out, Maruša, Cene and a few other teenage band members run into trouble with some Bosnians who run Kebab place in that Austrian town – this incident puts Stojan in bad books with their Austrian hosts. Back home, while husband(s) are on tour, Stojan’s wife Kati (43) with other girlfriends decides that they should also have some fun. The girls night out that should be all fun, becomes the night that they all learn something about themselves. While returning home, they are stopped by male police officers and they have a feeling that they weren’t treated right because they are women. Nevertheless, their night out ends in a stall where they help give birth to a baby cow. In the end, they all revive the feeling of how to be a woman, and not just a wife and a mother. After arriving at the Austrian town, the orchestra members are placed with some willing locals. Alois (58) and Marie (52) decide to take two Slovene guests under their roof. They expect two girls but get two males instead. Trumpeter Pajo (39) and trombonist Ive (48) are known as party animals and like to have one too many drinks. Alois and Marie try their best to be good hosts, despite the fact their guests come home drunk every night. When Alois finds out that his gold music award is missing, he suspects that their guests have stolen it. Alois is faced with a dilemma: shall he report the theft and endanger the entire event or not? What he doesn’t know is that his wife Marie has broken a gold music award and hid it. After a successful performance at the parade, the orchestra members return home. In a moment of inattention, Rajko hits something on the empty dark road. Did he hit a person or an animal? They drive on because some think it was an animal and they want to be home in time. Others think that they had actually hit a person, hence they should go back and help. This dilemma creates a deep rift between the orchestra members. They decide to return and investigate, but this fuels the fire even more, as some still think they are simply wasting their time. The undercurrent of this movie is that everyone perceives certain people as his/her inferior, immigrant, alien, refugee… That we all feel superior to certain individuals or group of people and that everyone can be a judge in one situation and then be judged in another.

Director's Statement

From the start of my career as a director, everyone expects me to make a film about my hometown, the mining town of Zagorje ob Savi. Film Orchestra will thus become the first film inspired by the sea of stories from Zasavje region, an area that for centuries, due to its mines became a melting pot of different cultures from Central Europe. Music is undoubtedly one of the common denominators of the region, a former Austro-Hungarian Empire: especially the music for wind (or brass) orchestras, which connects Central European nations. The decision to put a miners’ wind orchestra to the forefront stems from the fact that Zasavje has always been one of the strongest areas regarding orchestras. However, wind orchestras and the Zasavje area have experienced financial hardships since the mines and other industries who sponsored them have disappeared. Since the money is gone, the orchestras are gradually disappearing, too. In its golden days, Zasavje had six different orchestras, which were winning awards at European competitions. Today, there are only three left, and they are all just about scraping by. For their younger members, a wind orchestra is often the only opportunity to travel around Europe and perform, while the older members see these tours as an opportunity to relax, a sort of a substitute for union-trade trips organised by factories which are gone now. Orchestra is not only a story about people from my hometown: it is also a story about the world we live in. For me, Orchestra is an anthology where the characters from every story intertwining in the film represent a micro Slovene or European society. As in may first feature, in this movie I want to explore human nature in a humorous way and different kind of clashes – generation clash, gender clash and culture clash. The movie will also focus on the phenomena of fake political correctness that can lead to conflict and tensions in different situations.

Production

  • GUSTAV FILM

    Petra Vidmar