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Rethinking Eastern European Cinema in a Post-Cold War Ideological Framework

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Eastern European cinema

An EU-funded project studied the cinema of Eastern Europe, and promoted its values both locally and internationally.

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The project 'Rethinking Eastern European cinema in a post-Cold War ideological framework' (EASTFILM) achieved its goals by focusing on three main objectives: publishing a scholarly book on the topic, incorporating courses on Eastern European film at West University of Timisoara, Romania, and establishing the Center for Eastern European Film and Media Studies at West University. EASTFILM successfully met all of its goals. The book 'Orphans of the East Cinema and the Production of the Revolutionary Subject in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989' focuses on Eastern European political films of the second half of the 20th century. Its perspective is on films that have orphans as protagonists. The orphans are used as a cinematic trope to investigate political visions of institutionalisation and re-education. The book is divided into six chapters. Each chapter concentrates on one film that was produced in Czechoslovakia, the former German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania. The films show the countries at various stages in the development of Eastern European socialism. The book is unique in that it combines film history and political and aesthetic theory, synthesising these countries' common cinematic and political experiences that came about as a result of their shared past. During the project, several new courses were developed, including one on the representation of Stalinism in Eastern European film. Following the Center's establishment, it has hosted numerous events and conferences. These include film nights with invited filmmakers and festivals such as the Tranzfilm, presenting Eastern European films on the post-1989 transition process in Eastern Europe. Moving forward, EASTFILM is working on a second book project and developing new courses. The Center will also continue to host events, with the most important being the expansion of the Tranzfilm festival and conference.


Eastern European cinema, post-Cold War, media studies, political films, Eastern European socialism