This little known Les Blank gem is a portrait of the Serbian-American communities of California and Chicago. At the time of the California Gold Rush, the first Serbian immigrants arrived from the rugged Balkan Peninsula to settle in the New World. Against great obstacles, Serbian religion and identity had survived five centuries of Moslem domination under the Turks, and a deep sense of loyalty to ancestral tradition lives on in America today among the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the earliest settlers. Zivelli is a film which brings to the screen all of the vitality of Serbian traditions in a mosaic of folk music, and arts, conviviality, Serbian Orthodox pageantry, and immigrant lore.
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