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How Serbian Actor Marko Dolash Returns Names and Meanings to Russia – Up News Info


As a schoolboy, he, the son of a Yugoslav builder, spent a few years in Moscow and fell in love with Russia with passion and selflessness. “Everything I’ve done since is linked to this great country,” says Marco. And he does a lot.

He performs Russian and Serbian songs at the Victory Museum, takes part in our music and film festivals, at one of them – “The Road to Yalta” – Lev Leshchenko himself applauded him. Marco is also the curator of several Russian-language guides to the Balkans, including the best-selling My Delicious Serbia. It was while working on books that the actor and journalist made a historic discovery – he found a diary with musical notes by the Russian-Yugoslavian composer Alexei Butakov, which he kept in the Nuremberg concentration camp -Langwasser during the Second World War.

Marco, little is known about your discovery, but what has already been expressed is reminiscent of that of a detective…

Marco Dolas: It’s really amazing. My co-author of the book “My Healthy Serbia” Elena Zelinskaya and I were going to go to an ethnic Serbian village, and before that, on the set of my show, I was chasing a Vietnamese pig and I seriously injured my leg, I screamed all night, but in the morning I still got into the car and went to get a partner. She tried to persuade me to go home, but I didn’t give up. And here we are in the village, and there’s a little museum there, and we didn’t have to go, but I went anyway to take some pictures. And suddenly the son of the owner of the museum tells me – here at the flea market we bought a box full of letters in Russian from the gypsies, we only gave 200 dinars for it, it’s 150 rubles , and now we don’t know what to do with it. I say take it. In a pile of letters was a brown notebook with the inscription “Nuremberg, 1943”, it was the diary with musical notes of the composer Alexei Butakov, he kept it when he was in the Nuremberg concentration camp -Langwasser. We asked the owners of the museum for the notebook and sent it to specialists from the Russian radio “Orpheus”. They studied the discovery, ran the notes through a special computer program and said, “It’s wonderful music.” Several works from the newspaper were performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra at the “Russian Diaspora: Cities and Faces” festival in May this year, a real world premiere. The music turned out to be very moving and relevant.
And before that, did you personally know who Butakov was? And why is he far from an ordinary composer?

Marco Dolas: To be honest, I didn’t know much. Except, perhaps, the fact that this is the nephew of the Very Admiral Grigory Butakov, who created the Armored Fleet, was the military governor of Sevastopol, successfully participated in the Crimean War, commanded the same “Vladimir “, which Aivazovsky depicted on his famous canvas “Naval Battle”. And the composer’s father, Rear Admiral Alexei Grigorievich Butakov, commanded the port of Petrograd in 1914.

But we continued our “investigation” and found out that, having emigrated from Bolshevik Russia, musician Alexei Butakov achieved a lot. He was a director of a music school in Belgrade, was a conductor of the National Theater of Yugoslavia, worked as an editor at Belgrade Radio, he wrote many romances and also succeeded in 1950 in create music for the film “Red Flower”, which tells about the Yugoslav prisoners of the concentration camps. I performed a song from this photo, beloved by Serbs, with a guitar at a festival in Moscow.

Is there any explanation why the diary was found at this time?

Marko Dolas: I don’t believe in coincidences, I think the time has come to build additional cultural and spiritual bridges between Russia and Serbia. A concert in memory of Butakov in Moscow, a documentary film about him, which will be released in the fall, is all that both peoples need.
Recently I heard how you read the poems of the Russian poet Yakov Polonsky, and I was amazed that not everyone in Russia remembers him, where does such knowledge of our culture come from?

Marco Dolash: Once I saw a lecture on Polonsky, in which one of his translations was quoted, the poem began with the line “The night is watching with thousands of eyes”, I became interested, I started reading other translations and Polonsky’s poems. And fell in love with every line. It seems to me that all his poems are about the fact that without love it is impossible to see the world as it really is. It seems to me that all Russian culture revolves around this. And that’s why she’s great. In Serbia, Russian literature, for example, is number one. We equate Dostoyevsky with the apostles, and Chekhov at the Academy of Arts in Belgrade, where I studied, is dismantled, imagine, the whole second year …

Photo: Courtesy of “Your Way” Film Festival Press Office

And what did you find in Chekhov?

Marko Dolash: For me, he is life, in the sense that in his stories someone is crying, someone is happy, someone is carried to the cemetery, and someone is going to have breakfast. . And everything is incredibly realistic. Moreover, if we take Chekhov’s plays, then, in my opinion, they are tragicomedies, and in this sense Anton Pavlovich fits perfectly into the cinema of the so-called Serbian black wave, which consists almost entirely of tragicomedies. These are, first of all, the films of our famous playwright Dusan Kovacevic “The Balkan Spy”, “The Gathering Place” and others.

My dream is to make a festival of such cinema in Moscow, on the one hand, you will see how close our cultures are, and on the other hand, any festival strengthens the bonds between peoples. I believe nothing builds those same bridges like movies and food. Oh yes, even women, if women find a common language between them, then nothing will interrupt that connection (laughs).

Photo: Courtesy of “Your Way” Film Festival Press Office

Marco, we met at the film festival Svoy Put, how do you like our cinema and, in your opinion, is there a director whose films a foreigner can understand Russia?


p class=””>Marco Dolash: I won’t talk about modern Russian cinema, it’s just getting back on track, but I love Soviet cinema. “Autumn Marathon”, “Mimino”, “Moscow does not believe in tears”, Gaidai’s films are all mine. As for the Russian director himself, this is, of course, Tarkovsky. To me, he’s genius. From his films, one can understand the depth of the Russian person and Russian history, the very spiritual power that is hidden from a superficial gaze and revealed only to those who truly love Russia. There is an interesting story. I knew the great Serbian director Mladomir Djordjevic, and he told me that the Italians first invited him to direct the film Nostalgia, but Djordjevic said that only Tarkovsky could do it. Because he is the most Russian of Russians.

I heard the song “Where the homeland begins” several times in your performance, tell me, does the homeland of a Serb and a Russian begin with the same thing?

Marco Dolas: I think that any homeland begins with love, but in our case also with sacrifice. Our ancestors always fought for their land, they suffered, but they fought, this sacrificial blood soaked in the ground, in the roots. Therefore, we are talking about a deep love for our country. It is impossible to explain what it is to other nations. Russia is also my homeland. I don’t earn much money here, I spend more, I save money in Serbia and I come to your place, I spend all my holidays here, I participate in projects. At the same time, when the landing gear is in contact with the runway, I feel a surge of tenderness and happiness – they say, real Russians experience the same when returning home.

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