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Tag: Film

The Calvert Journal Film Festival announces the full programme of its 2nd edition

The second edition of The Calvert Journal Film Festival will run from 18-31 October. The 14-day online programme will be an intense journey across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia through the lens of the region’s independent filmmakers.

October 14, 2021 - The Calvert Journal Film Festival

In Quo Vadis, Aida?, we all share the protagonist’s pain

Review of Jasmila Žbanić’s film "Quo Vadis, Aida?", one of the nominees in the upcoming Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category.

April 23, 2021 - Kristijan Fidanovski

Reimagining futures past: on Nova Lituania

The film Nova Lituania, explores a geographer's idea of a "reserve Lithuania" on the eve of the Second World War.

January 8, 2021 - Alexander Langstaff

Belarus has to become its own country

Interview with Belarusian filmmaker Vlada Senkova. Interviewer: Kateryna Pryshchepa.

November 17, 2020 - Kateryna Pryshchepa Vlada Senkova

An unappreciated effort

A Hollywood budget, important factual inspiration and a non-American director – all these features may be considered as providing the right opportunity for a high-quality movie. The latest film by Polish Oscar nominee Agnieszka Holland – Mr Jones – combines all of them. Yet, the Hollywood finances and the predictable filming style became too visible, distracting from a much-needed history lesson.

January 29, 2020 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Herzog continues puzzling love affair with Gorbachev

Werner Herzog’s documentary Meeting Gorbachev seems to be a cinematic expression of the West’s love of Mikhail Gorbachev. And if there is one central theme to the film, it is Gorbachev shunning responsibility for his failures one after another.
In 2001 George Bush infamously proclaimed he had read Vladimir Putin’s soul – and liked what he saw. Last year, the acclaimed German filmmaker, Werner Herzog, engaged in a similarly occult exercise with Mikhail Gorbachev, reaching an equally favourable conclusion. To call Herzog’s ambitiously titled documentary Meeting Gorbachev occult is hardly an exaggeration, since any factual account of Gorbachev’s legacy would produce a more mixed verdict. Sympathetic to Gorbachev’s old age, and even more to the gradual erosion of many of Gorbachev’s achievements over the last 30 years, Herzog brackets out Gorbachev’s shortcomings and takes his seductively peace-loving rhetoric at face value.

January 28, 2020 - Kristijan Fidanovski

In the name of Matilda

The controversy surrounding the recent Russian film Matilda reveals a great deal about Russian society today. While the film, billed as a big-budget historical romance of Tsar Nicholas II, fails to impress, the social sensitivities that have emerged as a result of the debate on the film illustrate a dangerous rise in extreme nationalist sentiments that may soon be beyond the Kremlin’s control.

Alexei Uchitel’s film Matilda (released in October 2017) was the most discussed cinematographic event in Russia last year. Similarly, strong emotions were generated in 2014 when the director Andrey Zvyagintsev released his Russian tragedy film, Leviathan. Both productions were accompanied by scandals and received widespread media attention. Admittedly, there is a fundamental difference between the two films. While the latter is a mature piece of artwork (one that tackles the profound problem of the citizen-state relationship), the former has very little to offer, both in terms of content and aesthetics. Assumedly, had there not been a scandal surrounding the release, the world would probably never have learnt about Matilda.

February 26, 2018 - Zbigniew Rokita

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