The large area of Europe customarily lumped together under the name of East Europe is the one marked by vibrant, diverse, unique, and often surprisingly inspiring cinematography. While most university courses on the films of Eastern Europe seem to be theme-based and treat the cinema of this region largely in direct relation to the harsh post-World War II political and historical realities, this course will look at Eastern European cinema for its artistic accomplishments, showcasing and studying some of the most aesthetically distinguished, award-winning, or simply most interesting films: masterpieces of East European cinema.
Our film list will include select films by foremost Polish director Andrzej Wajda, whose work spans the era from the 1950s to today, the 1960s Czech New Wave’s <Loves of a Blond> and <Closely Watched Trains>, films from the award-winning Zagreb School of Animated Film, works from prominent Eastern European women directors such as the Hungarian Marta Meszaros, Czech Vera Chytilova, Polish Agnieszka Holland, and Bosnians Jasmila Žbanić and Aida Begić, as well as more recent films, such as the internationally acclaimed Macedonian-American <Before the Rain>, Romanian <Four Months, Three Weeks, and Two Days>, and Croatian <Witnesses>.
This course will also offer a basic artistic, cultural, and historical background to the films we study. No prerequisites.