The Balkans (2020 TV Series)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Producer(s)||Across the Channel Productions Ltd|
|Running time||70 min|
|Distributor||Amazon Prime Video|
The Balkans is a Documentary series that was released in 2020 for Amazon Prime Video. The series follows journalist, Cameron Ashplant, as he endeavours to discover The Balkan identity. The series was written and directed by Musaab Salem and Cameron Ashplant and produced by Across the Channel Productions Ltd.
Episode 1: Romania with Transylvania
In the first episode of the series, Cameron Romanian culture. He talks to a journalist about the communist oppression of their identity and also talks to Bucharest's Locals on how they feel about regimes of the past. A cartographer provides an in detail description of the Balkan region whilst one of the countries oldest inn's presents a cultural spectacle. The Nazi and communist regimes are seen to have exhausted their natural resources. Cameron and the crew face an unwelcome encounter with security at the world's oldest oil refinery. Cameron also visits the world's most ethical sanctuary to hear of suicidal Bears, as well as the ones that could be saved.
Episode 2: Serbia and Kosovo
This episode focuses on the collapse of Yugoslavia and nationalism which took hold in the region. In Belgrade, Cameron embarks on a journey of the city, travelling via a Yugo car. He tours the brutalist architecture and learns of the man behind it, Tito. The new Belgrade waterfront is also explored, a location now referred to as the Dubai of the Balkans. Cameron joins national Waterpolo champions, the Partizans, to play the sport with the world's best and to learn of nationalism in the country. In Kosovo, Cameron is met by a travel guide who shows him the country's natural beauty, highland traditions and cultural heritage. As well as exploring the future for this small state, Cameron returns to a darker past, meeting one of the men who paved the way for independence.
Episode 3: North Macedonia & Bulgaria
The Series finale is a festival of culture and a showcase of natural beauty. Cameron explores an ancient European civilisation abandoned on a lake bed in Ohrid and hears of how their identity is being shaped today by hundreds of new statues in the capital. He learns of the great diversity of Skopje, where Muslims and Christians share a city. Here opinions over nationalism and EU membership are divided. They meet a Syrian Refugee who has fallen victim to trafficking and a TV host who thinks Macedonia is guarded by God. In Bulgaria they experience the Balkans as it is seen by most tourists, as a beach resort. A Geopolitical scholar tells Cameron of an inevitable war.
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