„SENTIMENTAL SWINGERS” is a group, consisting of ten musicians – a female vocal trio and instrumental sextet. Some depict it as an “Encharming project for retro city culture and music”, others claim, that the three ladies and “the brilliant musicians of “Mihail Yosifov sextet” are the most successful musical project in Bulgaria”, and for me, the belgian director, who connected his life with Bulgaria, “Sentimental Swingers” are a symbol of a generation, coming from the communist East, gone through, or rather going through a hard transition, but denying to be “lost”.
I will depict their not typical fates. I will detect them in theur usual daily round, or rather in their unusual daily round, as you will see! The special microcosmos, they live in will drive us in one dynamic and ceaseless movement and will discover for us a world not really common - Bulgaria, in order to succeed, I hope, to create a portrait in depth of that subtle thing, I could call, the bulgarian soul.
The film will follow ten characters, ten fates. They will narrate about the histories of their lifes in Bulgaria – one of the most infamiliar countries of the ex Eastern block. All the ten musicians are born and have spent their yoth during communism. They have passed through the different phases of the transition, called “democratic”, when to the disappointments, supervening the first gulps of freedom, mafia added, when people understood, that most of national resources had been stolen. The characters of the film are part of a sacrificed generation, seventy percents of which departed to the West, searching for better life, depriving the country of manpower... But our musicians are unbending –desided to rest in their fatherland and to devote themselves to their art despite all. These personages and their fates will weve the story and will be its heart and body.
I will observe their lifes, full of musical passion. I will make a sketch, particular of course, partial and subjective, of the condition of a country, of a world, opening itself to the wstern one, together so close and so different. Close, because these musicians are before all europeans, product of a world with joint roots. Different, because when we listen to them, telling their lifes, we can only excite of their histories, which sound to us as from a time apart! The chaotic epoch, they have passed through, the difficulties, they had to overcome, give them strenght, courage and maturity, which sharply outline against the mentality of the, sometimes, too spoiled artists of “western Europe”. Namely this strenght, this faith and these extraordinary experience interest us, because they learn us something new about the contemporary world and partially about this other Europe.
The aesthetic choice, which concerns me as a director will becme richer and more varied, when the levels of the story will multiply: my voice as a narrator will mix with that of the singers and the musicians. Thus I will be able to draw other points of view from the situations, as per example, the sometimes surprising, for us the people from the west, logics of their artistic life, or like this, which leads them in the direction, they have undertaken. I could leave place to imprivisation and the poetic power, it consists of. I could search for other visual and sound forms, moving on straight paths, attaching great importance to the details in the whole, allowing myself everything, which would help me to make an open, exciting and responding to reality fim. This human adventure would be still more touching by the fact, that Sentimental Swingers will have to reveal themselves in front of the camera, making us witnesses of their present and past existential adventures, often exalting, sometimes painful – but full of energy, confidence in themselves and devotion to art.
Directors: Andre Chandelle
Writers: Andre Chandelle
Producers: Serge Kestemon, Vera Chandelle
Key cast: Andronia Popova, Desislava Andonova, Mihail Yossifov