Belina – Music For Peace
Belina (1925-2006) is considered a bridge builder between peoples and cultures with her folkloric repertoire.
Together with the Berlin guitarist Siegfried Behrend (1933-1990), ), the Jewish-Polish artist traveled around the world as a "musical diplomat" in the 1960s, singing in 17 languages. After the war, Belina took the path of reconciliation and, despite her traumatic experiences during the Nazi dictatorship, stood up for tolerance and equality between Germans, Jews and other nations.
For both of them, music was the only universal language, far removed from origin, religion and skin color. Their endeavor to connect and communicate was not only exemplary and courageous, it is still of burning relevance in today's time of crisis with right-wing populism, racism and streams of refugees.
"Simply beautiful, deeply sad, and very moving."
(Sharon Adler, AVIVA - Magazin für Frauen, 24.02.2021)
"The singer Belina, newly discovered - a stroke of luck."
(Mittelbayerische Zeitung, Michael Scheiner, 26.02.2021)
"In the midst of a time marked by wars and racism - a worthy memorial!"
"A richly detailed and superbly researched bow to a lifetime of musical achievement that must be saved from oblivion."
On 04.03.2021, the Wiesbaden Film Rating Board unanimously awarded the Golden Seal of Approval with the jury statement:
"Marc Boettcher's documentary film about the world music interpreter inevitably casts a spell. This is also true for viewers for whom the singer was previously rather unknown. The entry, the 15 years ago
Introducing the deceased first by having others talk about her therefore seems particularly successful: The film does not approach the person and her work from the know-it-all point of view of a classic television feature, but with a certain discretion that rejects the boulevardesque approach with its squint for sensation and revelation.
At the same time, one learns not only something about the person, but also something about the traces her life has left behind and the influence her work has had on others. The conventional ingredients of a documentary film, i.e. the linking of archive material with interviews with relatives, friends and contemporary witnesses, Boettcher cuts together here in a special way. Although he loosely follows the singer's life through the decades, the statements of others, assembled with great sensitivity, not only create a vividly contradictory picture of a complex, unusual person. But also interesting aspects of the time, such as the everyday sexism both in the music business and in German 1960s television, where Belina as a woman had to experience many disadvantages and degradations. As if in passing, the viewer learns a lot about the changes in the music industry in the post-war period and a lot about the importance of world music and its changing relationship to political engagement, about the changing boundaries between serious and popular music, between aspiration and entertainment and entertainment with aspiration. Boettcher's film arouses new interest in an exciting time and a great figure whose attitude and work in life seem exemplary. Without ever being pedagogical, he brings Belina to life once again, giving viewers a real sense of a highly talented woman who never made things easy for herself."