FLY OR DIE – Marta Medvešek – CROATION RADIO – Croatia

mp3 + PDF | 39 min

Translation by PDF (opens in new window)

Radio talent from the Ake Blomström Award 2019-2020


28 years ago, a man found an injured baby stork.
Shot in the wing, she couldn’t fly.
She was predestined to die.
But the man saved her.
She still couldn’t fly – but she stayed alive.
The man changed her destiny.
Did he know that she would change his destiny just as much?

To become Malena’s wings, Stjepan had to give up on his own freedom of movement.
Every day he’s taking care of her in the backyard of the village school, where he lives and where he used to work before retirement.
Thanks to him, Malena was even able to find love – Klepetan, a stork which year after year comes back to her roof, helps her raise the chicks and takes them to Africa when the time for migration comes.

Some 10 years ago a journalist wrote an article about it in the local newspaper.
Little by little the news spread out and the story earned worldwide fame as one of the most unusual love stories.
Journalists started rushing to Stjepan’s house – the story was a hit.

But life is not a novel.
Being someone’s wings is a full-time position.
There’s no vacation, no retirement.
And especially not when the spotlights are on.

In this piece, set in a limited space of a school backyard in Brodski Varoš, Stjepan’s days go on as he continues to take care of Malena, while trying to make ends meet.

Sound: Bodo Pasternak and Erik Lehman
Editor: Gabriela Hermer
Produced by rbb in cooperation with the Åke Blomström Award, 2020.

Author and director

Marta Medvešek


2 thoughts on “FLY OR DIE – Marta Medvešek – CROATION RADIO – Croatia

  1. It’s an extraordinary story, behind an extraordinary story! Wow! I really like the approach, reflecting our work as journalists and being critical of the media; and also telling the fascinating story of this eccentric man.

  2. Marta, I was looking forward to listen to this stork love (or stork-man love?) story from your perspective. I am glad you took this honest approach. Had you thought about sharing your struggle with Stjepan, too?

    SPOILER ALERT: I tried to google more about the twist of Klepetan not coming back. The articles seem to be the same each year in mixing announcing that “ Klepetan haven´t come back yet“ vs „Klepetan came back“. It´s like a never-ending cycle of media drama in deed! So what is the latest version? Is he now really dead?

    I am wondering if this story appears on your national radio to cast a new light on the notoriously known narrative. Is it in plan? 🙂

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