section Feature Film Competition

The Klezmer Project

    • Leandro Koch
    • Paloma Schachmann
  • AT/AR
  • 2023
  • 115 min

Argentinian wedding filmmaker Leandro falls in love with a klezmer musician and wants to impress her by shooting a documentary about klezmer music in Eastern Europe - from Ukraine to Romania. The cheerful-melancholic mockumentary was shot before February 2022.

Leandro feels underchallenged when filming Jewish weddings. He comes from the Jewish community of Buenos Aires yet has little interest in his roots. That is before he loses his heart to the klezmer-playing clarinettist Paloma at a wedding. In order to see her again on her tour across Europe he pretends to be a specialist in Jewish folk music and manages to secure Austrian sponsors for a documentary about klezmer music in contemporary eastern Europe. This is no longer actively practiced there however due to the absence of Jews amongst the local population; only Romanian and Ukrainian Roma and folk musicians have preserved the legacy of their former Jewish neighbours in their repertoire. And so, this fascinating, not to mention enlightening film comes in the guise of a light-hearted mockumentary about music, love and the search for a vanished culture. The director duo Paloma Schachmann and Leandro Koch play themselves and yet slip into a role at the same time; the idea of going in search of the remains of klezmer music in eastern Europe is real. It came into being at the time of the pandemic, shortly before the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The circumstances behind it however are fictitious, which in turn makes for the film’s many comical, at times absurd scenes. The film is supplemented by a second narrative level: a Yiddish narrator describes the odyssey of a young man before the Second World War, one who follows the one he loves; having escaped shtetl life, her journey is not dissimilar to Leandro's.

Text: Kira Taszman
English: Peter Rickerby

Other performances:

  • 18.06.2023 Bürgerbildungszentrum Amadeu Antonio Eberswalde at 18:00

watch trailer

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original title The Klezmer Project

international title The Klezmer Project

german title The Klezmer Project

JFBB section Feature Film Competition

  • director
    • Leandro Koch
    • Paloma Schachmann

country/countries AT/AR

year 2023

duration 115 min

Portrait of Leandro Koch

Leandro Koch

BIO The Argentinian writer and director studied film at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. He has so far written and directed two short films. Since 2018, he has been working with Paloma Schachmann on Adentro mío estoy bailando.

Portrait of Paloma Schachmann

Paloma Schachmann

BIO The Argentinian musician, filmmaker and researcher into Klezmer music has played in various bands. She co-directed Adentro mío estoy bailando with Leandro Koch.