Fly or Die

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 changed her destiny.

Did he know that she would change his destiny just as much?

To keep her safe, warm and well fed, Stjepan had to give up on his own freedom of movement. Thanks to him – and against all odds – Malena was not only able to live, but also to find love – Klepetan.*

About 10 years ago an article about the old man and the stork came out in a local newspaper. Little by little the news spread, gaining worldwide fame as an unusual love story. 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 Croatian, Malena means ‘The Little One’, and Klepetan ‘The Clattering One’.

Winner of Best European Radio Documentary at the Prix Europa 2021

A feature by Marta Medvešek
Music by Jan Johansson
Coach: Gabriela Hermer
Sound: Bodo Pasternak, Erik Lehman, Marta Medvešek
Produced for the Åke Blomström Award with support of rbb, 2020.
Special thanks to Edwin Brys and the Åke Blomström 2019 training group.

Marta Medvešek is a Croatian audio artist based in Berlin. Her first piece – Guest Workers 2.0 – won the inaugural Adam Mickiewicz Institute prize. She’s produced work for BBC Radio 4’s Short Cuts, The Allusionist, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Blinkist. She’s won the Åke Blomström Award 2019 for young feature makers, in the frames of which Fly or Die was produced. Fly or Die won the Best European Radio Documentary prize at the 2021 Prix Europa.