Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe: Documentaries with a Human Face
As young East European filmmakers of the 1950s and 1960s looked for new forms and ways of engaging their subjects some of them turned to documentary filmmaking and began producing films that advocated for social and political reforms as well as giving visual and verbal expression to new attitudes of respect toward citizens. Including films by Želimir Žilnik from the former Yugoslavia, Sándor Sára from Hungary, and Helena Włodarczyk from Poland, this program demonstrates how documentaries from Eastern Europe engaged social problems and presented more intimate depictions of individuals and everyday people.
Gypsies (Cigányok), Sándor Sára, Hungary, 1962, 17 min.
Black Film (Crni film), Želmir Žilnik, Serbia, 1971, 14 min.
One Day More (Dan više), Vlatko Gilić, Serbia, 1971, 10 min.
Trace (Slad), Helena Włodarczyk, Poland, 1976, 13 min.
10 Minutes Older (Vecāks par 10 minūtēm), Herz Frank, Latvia, 1978, 10 min.
New Year’s Eve (Szilvester), Elemer Ragalyi, Hungary, 1974, 15 min.
(1962–1978, digital video, 79 min.)
Zoran Samardzija is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Columbia College Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His primary research explores post-communist East European and Balkan cinemas in order to address the sociopolitical ramifications of European unification. He has published several articles and reviews on topics including Andrei Tarkovksy’s Nostalghia, the use of historical and national myths in the films of Theo Angelopoulos, representations of exile and migration in cinema about the Balkans, and David Lynch’s embrace of the Internet and digital video. In addition, he has articles forthcoming on pedagogical strategies for introducing students to communist and post-communist East European and Balkan cinemas. Before arriving at Columbia he taught courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Facets Multimedia. He teaches a wide variety of courses on cinema, such as surveys of national cinemas, authorships courses, representations of sadism and violence, film theory, and introduction to film aesthetics.
The Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe series was curated by Zdenko Mandusic (CMS) from the series originally screened at the National Gallery of Art as part of the Film Studies Center’s Graduate Student Curatorial Program. The original film series was co-organized by Joanna Raczynska, Assistant Curator, film programs, and Ksenya Gurshtein, A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow (2012-2014), National Gallery of Art. Co-presented by the Smart Museum of Art and the Center for Eastern European and Russian/Eurasian Studies.