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Home / Jelena's Song - Multilingual DVD

Jelena's Song - Multilingual DVD ONF/NFB


Catalogue Number:  NFB550795
Producer:  National Film Board Of Canada
Language:  English, French
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2010
Running Time:  28:02
Closed Captions:  Yes


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A yellow curtain billows in an open kitchen window; white clouds meander across a summer sky; a family photograph shot in Croatia loses focus; a young girl poses in her favourite blue chair on the steps of their first house in Canada.

Jelena’s Song is an elegantly structured visual and sonic poem about the transformative power that emerges from an artist’s journey through memory and the rituals of everyday life.  Like memory itself, the film gathers fragments of images, freeze frames, faded family photographs and youthful photo-booth self-portraits, journals, poetry, an evocative sound design and the simple honesty of Jelena’s voice into a lyrical tapestry that reconstructs her past and re-imagines her future.

Jelena’s intelligence and courage permeate this film. As she unearths a rich family history, memories of a period of childhood trauma become only one thread of a complex and loving childhood.  Her search for self-awareness spans continents, cultures and generations, and as she recovers the meanings behind family traditions, she learns the value – the ordinary magic – that lies at the heart of everyday rituals. In doing so, she tells a powerful story about her psychological journey to liberate her own creativity and raises profound questions about the multiple meanings of memory, photography and identity.



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