SLAVIC 312 - Central European Cinema
Winter 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Slavic Languages and Literatures (SLAVIC)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
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Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
A knowledge of Russian is not required.
Other Course Info:
Taught in English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


During four decades of Communist Party rule, the film industries of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia were under state control. One positive result of this was ample funding for serious films about social and political topics. In certain thematic areas, particularly those dealing with racial and ethnic intolerance and with the plight of women in patriarchal societies, filmmakers in East Central Europe were able to be more incisive, frank and provocative than is often the case in profit-driven Hollywood film. Talented and committed filmmakers were able to take advantage of the regimes’ progressive official pronouncements with regard to ethnic and gender issues to craft powerful films which the regimes had no grounds to suppress. In the post-Communist period, this tradition of critical filmmaking continues. The course has three units :

  1. the Holocaust—how people in East Central Europe reacted to the genocidal plans of the Nazis, from indifference and collaboration to heroic acts of altruism: pre-war relations between Jews and non-Jews, reasons for acquiescence to racist policies and the expropriation of Jewish property, the motivations of those who protected Jews at great personal risk, the reactions of the Jews themselves to the nightmare in which they found themselves;
  2. women’s lives under state socialism--women in the work force in large numbers, but with continued primary responsibility for domestic work and child care, and plagued by persistent patriarchal attitudes toward sex and marriage--some male directors represent this situation critically, but it is women directors who confront it most uncompromisingly;
  3. animosity among Catholic Croats, Orthodox Serbs, Moslem Bosnians, Orthodox Macedonians and Moslem Albanians, leading to Yugoslavia’s wars of the 1990s--as well as the countervailing examples of friendship and peaceful coexistence among people of these ethnicities.

We will view and discuss fifteen films from Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Macedonia dealing with the above issues. We will also consider the artistic structure of the films--how they go about transmitting their themes with power and emotion. Grades are based on participation in class discussion and three medium-length (7-8 page) papers; the first two papers will involve a first version, followed by a revised and expanded second version; (this second version should be 8-10 pages in length). Due dates for these assignments are Feb. 1, Feb. 15, March 15, March 29 and April 22, see syllabus for details. Paper topics will be given out toward the beginning of each unit.


SLAVIC 312 - Central European Cinema
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 2:00PM - 3:00PM
002 (LAB)
 In Person
W 7:30PM - 10:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
F 2:00PM - 3:00PM
005 (DIS)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
006 (DIS)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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