This year ends with a special anniversary for our journal: the publication of our 100th issue. When we established the East European Film Bulletin in 2011 as philosophy students in Berlin, the idea of what would become of our project was only vaguely defined. EEFB was not born out of a manifesto, but out of shared intuitions regarding aesthetics, and the then recent success of films coming from Romania, our regional focus in 2011. Already then, however, we knew what we know now: that the most productive place for our publication is at the intersection of academia and journalism. Here academic discourses seem near enough to inform our discussions of film culture, but also far enough not to interfere with our interest in criticizing films with a capital c, that is without excessive theorizing but with that special kind of honesty that sometimes verges on outright polemic. Over time, we have also developed a distinctive stance on socio-political issues and specific debates, taking particular pleasure in criticizing peculiarities of our memory culture and the omnipresent fetishization of identity politics.
The most pleasant development in the evolution of our journal, however, is not ideological or conceptual, but concerns the growth of our team. The authors who have contributed to this journal either as one-time contributors or as frequent correspondents, the interns who have been of crucial help in taking care of our day-to-day business, and the guest editors who have helped us publish in-depth portraits and dossiers (most recently Colette de Castro edited a special issue dedicated to the work of Kira Muratova), have not only made our continued existence possible, but widened our horizon and informed or even corrected our understanding of the rich and ever-changing cinematic cultures of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. We thank everyone who has contributed to, helped out or worked for EEFB until now, and hope that the project will only keep growing in that regard!
Finally, we would like to thank our readers for their continued trust! If you have thoughts about our activities, feel free to share them with us via Facebook or email. Please also consider supporting our mission with a monthly contribution via Patreon (rates start from as little as $1).
This month, we are publishing our coverage from four film festivals we recently visited. Lucian Tion completes his coverage of the Thessaloniki Film Festival with a review of Svetla Tsotsorkova’s Sister, which offers a refreshing look on life on the periphery. Zoe saw Michał Bielawski’s somewhat hysterical The Wind. A Documentary Thriller, which dramatizes the effects a local wind has on a Polish mountain region, and Silva Khnkanosian’s much more balanced portrait of a post-war demining process, at DOK Leipzig 2019. Melina Tzamtzi saw films addressing adultery, family trauma and collective servility at the Primanima World Festival of First Aimations in Hungary. (She also spoke to to Lucija Mrzljak, co-director of the latter film.) Finally, Antonis Lagarias visited Remake, the Frankfurt Women’s Film Days, discussing Sally Potter’s interesting if stylistically stale 1987 TV documentary on the role of women in the Soviet film industry, and Lana Gogoberidze’s highly topical Some Interviews on Personal Matters.
See you in 2020, when EEFB’s regional focus will be on Russia!
Happy New Year!
Konstanty Kuzma & Moritz Pfeifer