Songs Along a Stony Road
In more than sixty years, the Hungarian-Rumanian musicologist Zoltán Kallós (1926) collected thousands of folk songs from Transylvania and Moldavia. In these two Rumanian regions, Hungarians, Csango and Roma coexisted peacefully for centuries. Kallós remembers from his childhood that all people danced to each other’s music. But Ceausescu’s communist regime didn’t acknowledge ethnicity and prohibited folkloristic research, so a lot of knowledge was lost for all eternity. The music no longer appeals to the younger generation, which moves to the city or abroad. This makes Zoltán Kallós’ work invaluable.
Songs Along a Stony Road follows Kallós on his visits, between 1999 and 2008, to some of the key testators of the folk music. Like Erzsi Papp (1927), who was sixteen when Kallós got acquainted with her. With her intriguing pentatonic elegies, his investigation once started. Some of the featured singers and musicians have meanwhile passed away, turning the documentary into a testament to the people from the region and their regional customs, dialects and songs.