Shifting Borders – Lasting Ties (Gozdarska Povest)

Almost immediately after Louis (the director’s grandfather) emigrated from Austria to the US in 1909, the rhythm of life in his native village changed dramatically. From a cultural and economic constancy experienced generation after generation, suddenly there was a complete transformation from one generation to the next. Nationality, army, language, culture all were disrupted by war.

Louis visits his family left behind in Trnovo, a small Alpine village and learns about the forces of political change and wars engulfing their lives. Once Austria, the little village became a part of Italy, and then joined Yugoslavia, and now lastly, it is a part of its cultural home, Slovenia.

These few relatives from the tiny village are so diverse they are the social, cultural and political history of the era. This is a story about family ties and cultural identity that overcome all political divisions.


Director: Carole Ryavec - Carmic Productions

Editor: Ron Kalish

Stills: Carole Ryavec, Ivan Lipovec, Bostjan Lipovec

Cinematography: Carole Ryavec

Animation: Geoff Skinnell

Ryavec: As a Slovenian/American filmmaker, with a PhD in political history, I have been thinking about this film for over 20 years. How many cases are there that four generations living in the same place have four different nationalities? How did beliefs, religion, financial status, and family relationships shape their lives?