“The gypsy music is difficult to describe, but wherever there are gypsies, there is music too. Our life is quite hard, and if we didn’t have our music, we would all have to commit suicide. Music is our medicine, our opium.”
A 30-year-old Roma accordion player creates a band in Vienna and names it “Jazzta-Prasta”. This band wins the most prestigious Austrian award for “world music”. The film follows the young virtuoso on his way back to Bulgaria for a first time after 10 years of emigration. Here in the town of Kotel, one of the poorest Roma community in the country he is tutoring a workshop for gifted local teenagers.
Martin Lubenov does not conform to the myth of the talented but suffering gypsy. Yet he is not an idealistic hero who discards the anty-gypsy clichés either. His story is important for the gypsy community as for the contemporary Bulgarian culture as a whole. His music reflects all the artistic ideas and traditions, which have been unifying our national culture through the years. Their diversity, free coexistence and original transformation can become the formula for success in the contemporary Bulgarian art as a whole.
This film is about the road that the musician takes regardless of the borders, ethical prejudices and the inertia of conservative thinking. This is a film about the talent of Martin Lubenov, who has a chance to become a worldwide popular star – like Gypsy Kings or Django Reinhardt.