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How Far The Stars

DirectorKatalin Barsony
ProducerB. Kaban, D. Szepesi, E. Santa, K. Barsony – BAXT Films, HBO Europe
CameraDavid Szepesi, Zoltan Lovasi
EditorThomas Ernst
CastJozsef Balazs, Elemer Balazs, sen. Elemer Balazs, Vilmos Olah
SoundTamas Zanyi
Original TitleCSILLAGFENY TAVOLSAG
Year2019
Length69 min
CountryHungary/USA
SubtitlesEnglish
SectionDOCUMENTARIES OPEN DEBATES / CINEMA AS CULTURAL MEMORY

There are not many film directors of Roma origin in the European film industry. The great Hungarian talent Katalin Barsony has competently brought a compelling story of a Roma musician Jozsef Balazs to the screen, who devoted his life to jazz music. His dream is to succeed in America, in the home of jazz, and to escape poverty. Amazing Balazs starts collaboration with the Rolling Stones sidemen and saxophonist Tim Ries.
The film will be introduced by Serbian/Dutch musician Julia Scepanovic, followed by Q&A with the director Katalin Barsony.

Synopsis

Director Katalin Barsony practically stumbled upon her subject on an average night in a jazz club in Budapest. Jozsef Balazs was performing, as she puts it, “almost crying over the piano, playing with intense emotion”. A friendship soon ensued between the two and Barsony and her small film crew were able to film over the course of several years many of the turbulences in the life of Jozsef. A shy and modest, but tremendously talented and optimistic young man, Jozsef is seen on screen in a stormy relationship with his wife, battling obesity, unable to pay for his bills, becoming a father and trying to make it in America. Filmed as a fly-on-the-wall documentary and edited at times in the style of a feature film, How Far the Stars captures the essence of his soul and his profound love for his music.