Pupils have filmed documentaries on six crafts
The world that is disappearing, seen in the eyes of the young people
The magic of making movies, shooting parts of human lives, human existence, human dreams, is an excitement that is over and over again discovered by the future generations. To register, to document reality, to discover the big and small secrets of human work, was a big challenge for a group of young people aged 13-15, who have created six documentaries on old crafts in the Old Skopje Bazaar for the past four months.
The films, with a common title “Young people take care of traditional values” had a premiere performance on 19th February in the Children’s Theater Center, and they were focused on goldsmith’s, chandler’s, shoemaking, hatter’s, baker’s and dyer’s trade, as well as on the craftsman and apprentices that are in their shops all day long.
The complete authors of the films: Goldsmith’s trade – Marijan Dojcinovski and Sara Berisa; Chandlery – Sarita Sejfula, Sureja Dacic and Monika Aleivska; Shoemaking – Elzana Kadriovska and Zuldino Korumi; Hatter’s trade – Visar Beca and Armend Beca; Baker’s trade – Besar Jakupi, Burhan Neziri and Berat Ameti and Dyer’s trade – Almera Memed, Alen Ramadani and Ertan Ramadani, after the premiere, where except their friends, schoolmates and craftsmen they had cooperated with, proudly spoke about the acquired new experience in making the films with assistance from professional and experienced people from the field of films: Petrit Neziri, Ivana Jarcevska, Besfort Imani and Fejmi Daut.
“In the beginning we felt strange. We did not believe ourselves but in the process of time we realized we could make a film. Most of us had some previous experience with the theatre because we took part in the project “Street Stories” by the Children’s Theatre Center, where we learnt about the theatre, but we also had an opportunity to meet some professional actors who work on films and they shared part of their knowledge with us” – says the young actors, now also screenwriters, cameramen, editors and directors of their films, students in the primary schools “Jane Sandanski”, “Cvetan Dimov” and “7th March” and the high schools DSU “Cvetan Dimov” and SMU “Pance Karagozov” in Skopje.
These young Bosnians, Roma, Macedonians, Albanians, have themselves made the contacts with the craftsmen, they got familiar with their work, made their stories and in the documentaries they present their author’s view of the meaning that crafts have had, most of them slowly dying out, very successfully.
The film needs an editing, too
“I have always thought that a film is shown as shot. I did not know that there is editing, but now we found out there was a shot, too” – says Sejfula Seriet, who, together with her two colleagues made the film on chandler’s trade. For the first time they had an opportunity to see and shoot the process of making candles in the Skopje Orthodox Eparchy. Before that they thought that the whole process of making candles is manual, not machine, as they present in the film.
Sara Berisa and Marjan Dojcinovski have made a film on goldsmith’s trade. They say that they have been previously familiar with the process, as Sara’s father is a goldsmith and Marjan, as their neighbor, has had a chance to find out a lot about the craft.
“We were to make a story about how to make a ring of a lump of gold. We shot a material lasting for two hours, we extracted the best and now the film lasts 9 minutes” – says Marjan Dojcinovski, who points out that now he has had an opportunity to see how worth the goldsmiths’ labor is.
The authors of the film on dyer’s trade also point out that after they had shot the film, the found out a lot of new things about the craft. “We found out that in the past more colors were used and now red and black most often. We saw that it is difficult to do it, manually to stir in the cauldrons where it is dyed. We would not like to become dyers”, point out the authors of the film, who pointed out that the shop Hemboj where they filmed, is the only one in the bazaar and this craft is slowly dieing out.
While you watch their movies, you can feel unobtrusiveness, carefulness which young people use to address the old craftsmen and how they listen to their stories about the past in the bazaar, the family traditions, with respect. The craftsmen openly talk about their worry about who will continue the craft in future, on the other hand pointing out (as the bakers brothers from the burek shop “Nigros 2001”, Abduraj and Enver Estrefi say) that baker’s craft never leaves you on the street.
The young filmmakers had to come to the baker’s early, at five o’clock in the morning, to shoot the whole process of kneading, baking, selling bread, burek, rolls.
“We had never before been to the bazaar so early. One of the bakers told me that he had been an apprentice in the shop for 7 years, and I know what it is as my brother, who is in the sixth grade of primary school, in the afternoon works as an apprentice in my uncle’s goldsmith’s shop”, says Besar Jakupi.
These young people are familiar with apprenticeship, as well as shooting with a camera at family celebrations.
Elzana Kadriovska, who together with Zuldino Korumi has made the film on shoemaking, this time with a camera set on a stand, says that she had previously shot weddings, circumcisions, graduations.
“Shooting the shoemaker while working, as well as the customers refusing to be shot was very interesting for me” – says Elzana. The authors of the film on hatter’s trade, who photographed themselves wearing hats in front of the shop “Pero”, mention hats’ ironing as the most interesting in the whole process of making hats.
These six documentaries which are part of the project “The Old Bazaar – a pillar of the future”, financially supported by the Dutch Embassy in Macedonia, will also be presented in schools in Kumanovo, Tetovo, Struga, Veles, Vinica, Radovis, Debar, Kicevo, Kocani. At the projections, like in Skopje, the authors of the films will be present, and they will have an opportunity to present their experiences and discuss the crafts with the audience.
“We know what the situation with crafts in our country is. Our idea, by making the documentaries, is to see how children perceive crafts, to see their view, their thoughts. With the project they have learned what a film is, how it is made, how to shoot with a camera. We chose the crafts and they made contacts and write the screenplays. They showed big responsibility in making the films and we were here to help them when it was necessary” – says Ivana Jarcevska.