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MITGIFT - A Documentary by Roland Blum, music Composed by Isidora Diefenbach

Monday, 3 March 2014 , ora 9.56
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The documentary “Dowry” (its official premiere was last night, on Thursday, 27th February, 2014, at the Babylon cinema in Berlin) turned out to be a real poem. Filmed in three parts - immediately after the change of regime in 1989, then ten years later and finally, last year - the 90 minutes of film found the legacy brought by the former Democratic Republic at the moment of its reunion with the rest of the West German Federal Republic; that legacy was in fact an ecological catastrophe.

Pollution, as it is most of the times portrayed by mass media, is illustrated through a few images that had become standardized in time: dirty waters, dark-grey clouds, extensive dumps, damaged scenery, clogged and unbreathable air, penury and desolation. Although present in the film of Roland Blum as well, it is not the images that represent the main contrivance of the movie, but rather the characters interviewed after ten to twelve years from the 1989’ incidents and up to the present day. They are the ones who saw their lives shattered by the fall of a regime which at the time seemed unshaken; they were ordinary people, but well aware of the value of clean water and fresh air and the limits of industrial globalization: these were the ones who, although at the bottom level of the decision making authority of an oppressive system, found the necessary force to make themselves heard and reclaim their right to an unpolluted earth.

The music was composed by the Romanian composer Isidora Diefenbach. Born in Craiova, she graduated from the National University of Music Bucharest and this was her debut in the industry of film music.”It was an extraordinary experience, especially regarding the collaboration with professionals who were not only very experienced, but also deeply involved in the human and historical aspects of the environment.”, confessed the composer last night.

“The Dowry” is a story of global and current magnitude; we could encounter the same force of expression in every corner of the former communist bloc and also in America, Africa or nowadays China. The music composed by Isidora Diefenbach, taken from a suite of works for piano solo or cello and piano and performed by the composer herself, subtly accompanied the narration by emphasizing an essential and pervasive element: its human vulnerability.

Ana-Maria Orendi
Translated by Zbarcea Bianca-Lidia and Elena Daniela Radu
MTTLC, The University of Bucharest