Following our focus on Romanian cinema with which we launched our journal in 2011, EEFB will draw special attention to the Balkan region in 2012. Interested in depicting the region in its entirety, we intend to go beyond the political borders of ex-Yugoslavia, examining both the inside and the outside perspective of the Balkan through features, documentaries and shorts, meanwhile acknowledging the special position theory holds in the cinematic discourse.
For this issue, our Balkan focus sets out in the 1990s, when the post-Socialist wars in the Balkan drew tensions that have outlived Tito’s Yugoslavia, but also gave rise to a new cinematic identity led by internationally acclaimed directors such as Srđan Dragojević, Emir Kusturica and Milcho Manchevski. In Before the Rain, Milcho Manchevski deals with the escalating divide between the different cultures long united under the state of Yugoslavia. The feature debute won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1994 and had a notable impact at box offices around the world. Emir Kusturica’s Underground deals with a similar theme, though in a different manner dominated by a surrealist undertone. Moritz Pfeifer examined Kusturica’s film in the light of the writings of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek. With the political comedy Cirkus Columbia, we looked at a more recent film on the Yugoslav problem, in which Danis Tanovic follows a man’s return from Germany to his homecountry.
In our Retrospectives section, you will also find an article on Emil Loteanu’s Queen of the Gypsies (1976), a Soviet melodrama set in the early 20th century, as well as a review of Broken English by Gregor Nicholas, a New Zealand film set around a group of Croatian refugees.
Finally, our Perspectives section features the Hungarian film Bibliotheque Pascal from 2010, in which director Szabolcs Hajdu approaches an old problem from a new perspective. EEFB editors Moritz Pfeifer & Konstanty Kuzma
Moritz Pfeifer & Konstanty Kuzma