67 min


How Far the Stars

Directing: Katalin Bársony


Hidden away in a tiny flat in the Roma neighborhood of Budapest’s rundown 8th district, where authentic Romani folk tunes are handed down from generation to generation, we find Józsika, a shy, young, chubby, and extremely talented piano
player. Despite constant criticism from Elemér, his more successful older brother, Józsika keeps on making music, playing his piano with a dedicated passion. When he invents a new sound, a Jazz-Gypsy fusion, he finally convinces his virtuoso friends to join him to record an album. But József struggles to find the right place for his new group in a Budapest music scene that is dominated by pop, DJs and a few underground stars. The only hope comes from Tim Ries, an old friend of Elemer’s and a lead saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, who immediately falls in love with the new style. Tim understands that Józsika’s fusion is truly unique and decides to travel to Budapest to jam with his East Gypsy band. The two men, who could not be more different, now form a musical partnership. Together they break down cultural barriers. In spite of this when Tim announces after a concert in a small village in Eastern Hungary that he sees huge international potential in the band, the other musicians react with skepticism. For them, the Big American Jazz Dream seems to exist in an unattainable, parallel universe. But six months later, Ries invites the East Gypsy Band to North America, arranging a series of live performances. When the East Gipsy Band arrives in New York and makes their debut on the American jazz scene, the promise of that unattainable universe confronts them as a potential reality. Are they ready for it? The film is an ode to jazz’s creative process and to brotherhood that glues together different people and different styles.
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