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PEOPLE . PLACES

Stjepan & Malena - The Old Man and the Stork

52', 45' (ENG, GER, FRE)

For 24 years, the retired Stjepan has dedicated himself to caring for the stork Malena, who after being injured by a bullet can no longer fly.

A female stork has captured the heart of Stjepan Vokic. The trust between man and wildlife is so steadfast that in autumn when Malena’s male stork Klepetan flies south, she stays at home with Stepjan. Caring for Malena dictates Stjepan’s day. He barely has any time for himself or his friends. He neither allows himself vacations nor visits his sons. Rain or shine, every day he goes fishing for Marlena. The film tells a story of a unique friendship between man and animal; of selfless caring and boundless devotion. There is no sacrifice too great for his stork.

The wetlands of the Sava River in Croatia are paradisiacal for storks. The white storks have always lived in harmony with mankind and in a village where most of the young people have moved to the cities, the migratory storks have become the beloved children of the neighbourhood. Every year after flying south for the winter, at the blossom of spring the storks return to their human family.  Each roof in the village has at least one nest. In this village, storks are always welcomed because superstitions state that they bring luck and children to a household and observation show that they provide helping hands for work and toils in the fields.

Original Title: Stjepan & Malena - Der alte Mann und der Storch
Year: 2017
Length: 52', 45' (ENG, GER, FRE)
Resolution: HD
Film by: Mirjana Momirovic, Caroline Haertel
Produced by: Micafilm, ZDF, arte

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