For a film journal whose self-understanding is decidedly socio-political, publishing a special issue on “politics” is almost a tautological act. Which of our three latest special issues – on sex, on war & genocide, and on Chernobyl – are anything but political? And yet there is a sense in which this month’s coverage is political and our past themed-based issues were not, at least not as evidently. It is that this month’s contributions deal with political discourse, the public and rhetorical features of politics that have been deemed key to social cohabitation by many modern thinkers, especially those standing in the Kantian tradition. Idealistic and outworn as this conception of politics may seem, it draws on the age-old insight that public discourse, though rarely pursued with such ends, touches upon genuine questions of mankind that concern us all. This is not to say that there are no good reasons to reflect on the economic and social conditions of discourse, nor to deny that politics is rarely anything but rhetoric. But the fact that politics work so well despite having been unmasked centuries ago, indicates that the questions it raises for political ends are ones we are independently interested in. In this month’s issue, we invite you to embrace this formalistic conception of politics to raise questions about the discursive frames in which it takes place.
For our Politics issue, Reidar Due draws on Miloš Forman’s Loves of a Blonde to question some of our preconceptions regarding Eastern Europe. Yoana Pavlova looked at two recent productions that might help East and West in times of the #MeToo-movement. Łukasz Mojsak reviews the violent politics of a short video made by Polish artist Przemysław Branas. Experimental artist-filmmaker Igor Simić suggests montage as a way of both understanding and advancing our multi-medial relation to the world. And Karla Tobar returns to her cinematic meeting with Mihovil Pansini to reflect on the subversive methodology of her and Pansini’s experimental work.
We hope you enjoy our reads.
Konstanty Kuzma & Moritz Pfeifer