Les Blues de Balfa (1983)

About the Film

A portrait of Southwestern Louisana's Balfa Brothers, ambassadors of traditional Cajun music to the world. Filmed in Louisiana between 1978 and 1981, the film focuses on the surviving brother fiddler Dewey Balfa and his efforts to continue playing and performing his family's traditional music after the sudden death of his brothers Rodney and Will in a traffic accident.

We met Dewey and Rodney Balfa in 1978 while filming Homemade American Music at a folk music festival with Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard. Dewey and Rodney invited us down to visit them in Basile and Mamou Louisiana, but before we could get there, Rodney and Will had died together in a car crash. Dewey was devastated, and together with Tracy Schwarz who was a visitor there at the same time, we worked to revive Dewey's spirits, helping out as we could. This tragedy became a central part of the film, which is a tribute to the Balfa family, their friends and their music. --Yasha Aginsky, filmmaker.

Awards

Showcase of the Year's Best Independent Documentaries, San Francisco International Film Festival (1983) Shared Grand Prize at the Cajun Film Festival, Saulieu, France (2002) with Cajun Visits

Licensing

For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Yasha Aginsky, the distributor Aginsky Productions, or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: Yasha Aginsky
  • Produced by: Aginsky Productions with Les Films Cinetrie and Les Films d'Ici
  • Cinematographer: Yasha Aginsky, Bruno Carriere, Stephen Lighthill
  • Sound: Carrie Aginsky, Nelson Stoll
  • Editor: Yasha Aginsky
  • Other Credits: Crew: Carrie Aginsky, Bruno Carriere, Jeanie McLerie, Ken Keppeler, Stephen Lighthill, Nelson Stoll, Betsy Bannerman.
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • ©1983, Yasha Aginsky
  • 26 mins, Color
  • Categories:
    MusicRural Life