Film and History
FIlm gives historical events a human face and dimension. This is, perhaps, why I always feel enormous interest in those works of cinema that aim to represent an important moment in history — from Soviet war films such as Come and See (1986) and Japanese war films such as Japanese The Human Condition (1959-1961), through to films that comment on minorities history and expose nationalism (like Radu Jude’s Aferim, 2015 and The Dead Nation, 2017) or register the condition of postcommunism, such as Goodbye Lenin! (2003)
Most of my writing related to film and history is focused on the Balkan region. It can be found in books such as Cinema of Flames: Balkan Film. Culture and the Media (2001), Emir Kusturica (2002) and Cinema of the Balkans (2006). Around 2007 I started work on a monograph dedicated specifically to the representation of history in Balkan cinema, but this was a period of great stress and I could not bring it to completion, only publishing parts of the manuscript in various books and journals. Time permitting, I may return to these issues as it is an area.
There is film and history — and then there is the history of film. To me, these are closely interrtwined. As a student of film cultures and global film circulation, I am always interested in the question why some films are widely seen and recognized whilst others remain out of sight and go into oblivion. Working on the history of film festivals keeps giving me more and more insights into these matters.
Over time, I have had the chance to explore many transnational dimensions of film and history, especially in the context of in the talks I am giving internationally, dealing with the representation of Roma history in film, early Balkan film, Eastern European/Balkan documentary film and history, matters of post-communism and memory in film, as well as Soviet and Asian film legacies. I enjoy putting together playlists of this material, and am looking forward to curate for film festivals.
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PLAYLIST SOVIET HYBRID GENRE DOCUMENTARIES 1930s
THE 1960S OF THE OTHERS (2021)
IVAN’S CHILDHOOD (Ivanovo detstvo, Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1962)
THE RED HORSE (Crveniot konj, Yugoslavia/Macedonia, Stole Popov, 1981)
RETURN OF THE DEAD ARMY (Kthimi i ushtrisë së vdekur, Albania, Dhimitër Anagnosti, 1989)
“BEFORE THE RAIN” IN A BALKAN CONTEXT (2000)
HISTORY/MEMORY IN KUSTURICA (2002)
HISTORY FOR LOSERS: GOODBYE LENIN (2003)
HISTORIOGRAPHY THROUGH TESTIMONY (2006)
WHOSE IS THIS HISTORY (2007)
INTERCULTURAL CINEMA AND BALKAN HUSHED HISTORIES (2008)
JAGGED NARRATIVES AND DISCERNING REMEMBRANCE IN BALKAN CINEMA (2008)
PLAYLIST RESTORED CLASSICS FROM ASIA