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Since the 2000s, various laws have sought to impose Ukrainian in film production. If until 2014, due to decades of Russification, it was not uncommon to see a Ukrainian film shot in Russian, the Ukrainian language has become increasingly dominant in national cinema. The law of 2017 demanding Ukrainian directors to shoot in the official state language has aroused questions and different positions among the film community: while some have tried to resist it, arguing a lack of realism and an artificial use of a standardized Ukrainian language in the context of a predominantly bilingual society, most filmmakers have been able to find creative solutions, by getting in tune with a society that is becoming more and more Ukrainian-speaking, or by resorting to surzhyk, a vernacular mixing Ukrainian and Russian. Apart from Slavic languages, minority languages such as Crimean Tatar have also found their place in contemporary Ukrainian cinema.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Free access
In: Studies in World Cinema
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Abstract

This article examines Alonso Ruizpalacios’ 2018 film Museo with a principal focus on place. It looks at the architectural history of protagonist Juan’s hometown, Ciudad Satélite, and the history of Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology. What is the historical significance of Ciudad Satélite, which was designed by famed architect Mario Pani? What motivates Juan’s journey across Mexico? In answering these questions, it seeks to address how Museo illustrates Mexican national identity and Juan’s sense of mexicanidad. This study also considers how Museo depicts indigenous culture, spaces, and language in relation to Juan’s crime. The final portion of this article looks at Museo’s commercial distribution data. Using world cinema and festival theory, I consider how Ruizpalacios’ work illuminates the nuanced presence of Mexican cinema in global festivals.

In: Studies in World Cinema
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Abstract

Grounded in Patricia White’s theorization of women’s cinema as world cinema, this article discusses select feature, documentary, and short films of two contemporary Palestinian women filmmakers, Najwa Najjar and Annemarie Jacir. Identifying the transformative and emancipatory processes within Palestinian society and the new Palestinian narratives of return as key elements in their films, this article concentrates on their contribution to the aesthetics and politics of Palestinian cinema. White’s theoretical framework allows for the analysis of the feminist and postcolonial concerns of Palestinian women filmmakers, their engagement with the minor form, and the place of their films within global production and distribution contexts. Taking into account the new responsiveness of Palestinian and global audiences, it also allows for the discussion of their increasingly prominent role in Palestinian cinema and their contribution to the struggle of women filmmakers for better conditions within the film industry.

In: Studies in World Cinema
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Abstract

Preludio 11 is a little discussed Cuban-gdr co-production from the early 1960s that was part of a glut of cinematic collaborations between Cuba and predominantly socialist European partners as a means of skills exchange and relationship-building. However, the film and the fact of the organization of the collaboration can offer valuable insight into the dynamics within the international socialist camp and both Cuba and the gdr’s focus on national projection on the international stage. Through examination of the communication between collaborators – principally between the Cuban and East German cinematic institutes and internal gdr communication – on the film, this article sheds light on the political and symbolic value of Cuba to the gdr and vice versa. It also shows how those relations were in constant flux as the project developed and the two countries battled with their commitment to cultural expression and development and shifting political priorities.

In: Studies in World Cinema
"Game of Thrones" in der Retrospektive
Entlang der Forschungsfelder Kulturgeografie, Gender, Body und Disability Studies werden diffamierte und diskriminierte Figurationen mit Stigmata, Devianz oder sonstigen Beeinträchtigungen aus der HBO-Serie „Game of Thrones“ in den Blick genommen, um Alterität als 'identitätsstiftende Verschiedenheit' fassbar zu machen. Das Serienmaterial ist dabei sowohl Ausgangspunkt als auch Anwendungsbeispiel für Projektionsflächen der Gegenwart. Das Buch kann als gedankliches Kaleidoskop für die Nachlese zu ausgewählten Charakteren der acht Staffeln umfassenden US-Produktion sowie zur Einstimmung auf die Nachfolgeserie „House of the Dragon“ dienen.

Abstract

This article concentrates on costumbrist cinema, an approach to filmmaking characteristically concerned with the accurate representation of the customs, habits and cultural idiosyncrasies of a particular society or group of people. After defining and contextualizing the concept of costumbrismo, the article draws on Jean-Pierre Meunier’s modes of filmic identification to describe the experiential structure of costumbrist cinema, characterized by the existent or non-existent recognition of the specific cultural representations. Following this, the potentially evocative feature of costumbrist cinema is considered with regard to its nostalgic dimension. To conclude, Volver (Pedro Almodóvar, 2006), A Separation (Jodâyi-e Nâder az Simin, Asghar Farhadi 2011), Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo, Hirokazu Kore-eda 2008) and Happy as Lazzaro (Lazzaro felice, Alice Rohrwacher 2018) provide the basis on which to outline different approaches to cinematic costumbrismo and their functions within the film’s narration: (1) costumbrismo as narrative imperative; (2) extensive dimension; (3) cinematic contemplation and (4) costumbrist framework as subversive potential.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema
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Abstract

This article examines two Chinese sci-fi blockbusters, Crazy Alien and The Wandering Earth, under a theoretical framework of global governance and its variation in Chinese state rhetoric. The article explores how the notion of global governance in China is echoed, reconfigured, and mediated in these two films via their depiction of China’s leadership in solving fictionalized futuristic global challenges. It argues that while Crazy Alien criticizes the present, neoliberal global governance, The Wandering Earth envisages a new global governance system led by China. These two films provide case studies of sci-fi blockbusters produced in a non-Western context and illustrate the convergence of Chinese politics with its sci-fi film production.

Open Access
In: Studies in World Cinema

Abstract

Focusing on Akhtem Seitablaiev’s blockbuster Kiborhy: Heroi ne vmyraiut (Cyborgs: Heroes Never Die, 2017) and Sergei Loznitsa’s auteur production Donbass (2018), this article argues that the 2014–2022 cycle of Ukrainian war films merits critical attention as an astute record of conspicuous social transformations in pre-full-scale-invasion Ukraine and for their original perspective on the hybrid nature of modern war and its mediatization. The article uses postcolonial and cyborg theories of hybridity, Baudrillard’s concept of simulacra, and the Marxist notion of “false consciousness” to illustrate how post-Soviet, postcolonial, and post-truth aspects of war-torn Ukraine conflate in Seitablaiev’s and Loznitsa’s works to highlight the recent shift in the nature of warfare itself. As the two films unequivocally demonstrate, the latter is defined not so much by high-tech armed operations and direct annihilation of the opponent as by contactless warfare, as well as by its consequences for those directly influenced by it.

In: Studies in World Cinema
Free access
In: Studies in World Cinema