We Used To Be Birds (Прежде мы были птицами , 1982) by Garri Bardin

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We Used To Be Birds
Long Before When We Were the Birds
Before We Were Birds
Прежде мы были птицами
Prezhde my byli ptitsami (ru)
Dříve jsme byli ptáci (cs)
Khi xưa ta là chim (vi)

Year 1982
Director(s) Bardin Garri
Studio(s) Soyuzmultfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Folklore & myth (Rus./USSR minorities)
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:16:26
Wordiness 1.5
Animator.ru profile Ru, En
220 visitors

Prezhde my byli ptitsami.1982.cs.1.25fps.1523385135.srt
Date: April 10 2018 18:32:15
Language: Czech
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Prezhde my byli ptitsami.1982.en.1.25fps.1682315087.srt
Date: April 24 2023 05:44:47
Language: English
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Creator(s): Niffiwan, wero1000

Prezhde my byli ptitsami.1982.vi.1.24fps.1682531410.srt
Date: April 26 2023 17:50:10
Language: Vietnamese
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Creator(s): Cynir

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Adaptation of a Gypsy (Roma) parable about how their people were seduced by a golden cage and lost their wings. Uses a fragment of the "Gypsy Airs" by composer Pablo de Sarasate.

There are some Romani words at the beginning of the film (repeated in Russian, as well), as well as the words in the song. Unfortunately, the lyrics of the song are not currently translated.

A quote from director Garri Bardin:
Once, in a conversation with Yuriy Entin, I expressed my desire to make a film on a gypsy theme and gypsy music. He gave me a collection of gypsy stories to read, where in the preface there was a story that once the gypsies were birds, but once, having landed, they ate so much that they could never take off... Then I decided to oppose the romance of flight to the prose of life. I turned to the classic of gypsy music - Nikolai Mikhailovich Zhemchuzhny. And so, two weeks later, he showed me musical numbers, playing along to himself on the guitar... Finally, the day of recording came. Nikolai Mikhailovich offered me two soloists for vocal overdubbing - Kolya Erdenko and his wife Rosa. I trusted him. But first it was necessary to record a violin overdub over the guitar performance of Nikolai Zhemchuzhny... The guitar began to sound. And Kolya Erdenko, without any preparation, without rehearsals and without notes, played his gypsy violin! And how! He improvised brilliantly!
This was the only gypsy film in the history of animation.

- Бардин Гарри. И вот наступило потом…. — М.: Центр книги Рудомино, 2013. с.93-95




I'm not holding out much hope... but if anybody can provide a translation of the songs, it would be much appreciated.



This film is so poetic that it reminds me of the tormented Tsygan love affairs I watched as a child. Hanoi is having a short cold spell right now, which is normal if it was every year before, but this year it is forecasted to have the highest heat wave on across Asia, so I usually open the windows and get up early taking a walk to enjoy this "diamond" chill. I remember a French song that was very popular among Saigon students in the 1960-70s : Tombe La Neige 1 2.


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