MINELRES: ASN 2008 Film Lineup

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Fri Apr 11 20:17:02 2008


Original sender: Dominique Arel <darel@uottawa.ca>


ASN 2008 WORLD CONVENTION FILM LINEUP
 
The 2008 ASN World Convention, taking place at the Harriman Institute,
Columbia University, New York, on 10-12 April, is unveiling a lineup of
twelve recent international documentaries on topics ranging from mass
violence to hybrid identities, electoral mobilization, religious revival
and migration.
 
Two films takes on the perplexing issue of mass violence. The Danish
documentary MILOSEVIC ON TRIAL (SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC - PR?SIDENT UNDER
ANKLAGE) investigates, from behind the scenes, the longest war crimes
trial ever held before an international court. NANKING, from the United
States, powerfully evokes the massacre committed by Japanese troops in
the Manchurian capital in 1937. The film premiered at the Sundance Film
Festival in 2007.
 
Three films explore the intricacies of hybrid identities. THE MORE YOU
SPEAK, THE MORE YOU CRY (Greece) makes us discover the Slavic-speaking,
Islamic-practicing Pomaks, in the mountain range of Rhodope, who
consider themselves Greeks, Bulgarians, Turkish and European. A COUNTRY
HERE, A COUNTRY THERE, by the German anthropologist Monica Heintz,
illustrates the everyday confusions linked to the Moldovan/Romanian
identity in the Republic of Moldova. LAST BUS STOP (Hungary) looks at
the divided village of Szelmenc, one half of which lies in Slovakia, now
part of the European Union, while the other half belongs to Ukraine.
These last films will be shown together.
 
The travails of a divided town are also examined in AROUND MOSTAR, THE
BRIDGE AND BRUCE LEE (Italy), an investigation into post-war Mostar, in
Herzegovina, and its three national communities—Muslims (Bosniaks),
Croats, and Serbs, as well as in DIVIDED GOD: CHILDREN OF A DIVIDED
SCHOOL (Slovenia), which asks young people in Mostar in what way
religion accounted for the war that divided their city, people, and
school. These two films will also be screened together.
 
The Jewish experience in Central Europe is highlighted in two films.
YIPPEE, by famed American director Paul Mazursky (MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON),
is a joyous travelogue in the extraordinary annual pilgrimage of 25,000
Orthodox Jews to the quiet Ukrainian town of Uman, in celebration of
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810). TAINTED REVOLUTION, by Dutch
historian Martin Mevius, addresses a little-known aspect of the 1956
Hungarian Revolution—anti-Semitic riots that erupted in the town of
Hajdunanas.
 
After A LESSON OF BELARUSIAN, shown at ASN 2007, the electoral
mobilization that shook Belarus is portrayed in two documentaries, to be
shown in sequence. COLOUR ME FREE (Canada) explores the impact of
Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution on democratic opposition groups in
Belarus. MUSIC PARTISANS (Poland) offers a look at President
Lukashenka’s authoritarian rule from the point of view of Belarusian
rock bands.
 
MERICA (Italy) investigates the complexities of migration and sense of
national belonging, using the parallel stories of the historical Italian
emigration to Brazil and the current Brazilian “return” migration to
Italy.

The ASN 2008 World Convention features 117 panels covering the Balkans,
Central Europe, Eurasia (including Turkey and Afghanistan), the
Caucasus, Russia, Ukraine, and a Nationalism Studies section featuring
special panels on new books by Will Kymlicka, Ben Kiernan, and Jacques
Semelin. A special roundtable on the Events in Tibet is a late addition
to the program.
 
The program of the convention can be accessed at www.nationalities.org.
The convention is open to the public. For registration information,
please contact Gordon N Bardos, ASN Convention Director, at
<gnb12@columbia.edu> or 212 854 8487. For information on the films,
please contact Dominique Arel, ASN President, at <darel@uottawa.ca>.
 
FILM 9
THURSDAY APRIL 10 > 3:20 – 5:20 PM
TAINTED REVOLUTION: ANTI-SEMITISM AND 
THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION OF 1956
Netherlands, 2006 (21 minutes)
Directed by Martin Mevius
 
The film addresses a less well-known and often obscured part of the 1956
Hungarian Revolution, in which anti-Semitic riots took place in the
North Eastern town of Hajdunanas, using interviews and contributions by
leading contemporary Hungarian historians.
 
Martin Mevius will present the documentary.
 
FILM 1
FRIDAY APRIL 11 > 11:20 AM-1:20 PM
YIPPEE
US, 2006 (75 minutes)
A film by Paul Mazursky
Contact: Juliet Birch <jburch@brandeis.edu>
<www.jewishfilm.org/catalogue/films/yippee.htm>
 
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), the great-grandson of the Baal
Shem Tov, founder of the Hassidic movement in Judaism, is buried in
Uman, Ukraine. Each year there is a major pilgrimage of Breslover
Hassidim and others, who travel to Uman to celebrate Rosh Hashanah near
the Rebbe’s gravesite. This custom dates back to the very beginning of
the Breslov movement, when Rabbi Nachman’s followers would gather with
him on Rosh Hashanah each year. During the Communist years, it was very
difficult for Jews to travel to Uman but, with the fall of the USSR in
1989, it became possible to make the pilgrimage again. Filmmaker Paul
Mazursky travelled with them to record an event at which 25,000 Hassidim
sing,  dance, pray and celebrate life.
 
 
FILM 2
FRIDAY APRIL 11 > 2:50 PM-4:50 PM
MERICA
Italy, 2007 (65 minutes)
Directed by
Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini, Francesco Ragazzi
In Portuguese, Italian, and Veneto dialect,
with English subtitles
Contact: Francesco Ragazzi <francesco.ragazzi@sciences-po.org>
 
The film investigates the complexities of migration and sense of
national belonging, using the parallel stories of the historical Italian
emigration to Brazil and the current Brazilian ‘return’ migration to
Italy. Though they generally hold an Italian passport and feel a strong
attachment to and national pride for Italy, these “return immigrants”
face considerable challenges in a country still plagued by the
difficulty of integrating “outsiders”. Why is this the case? Why aren’t
they recognized as Italians? If it is not nationality, what is it
exactly that creates a sense of belonging within a society? Which are
the criteria for belonging? Is it about ‘blood’ or about the project of
living together in one territory? By comparing the great Italian
emigration of the 1800’s and the immigration which Europe is
experiencing today through the lives of these returning migrants, the
film aims at providing a certain number of paths to answer these
questions.
 
 
FILM 3
FRIDAY APRIL 11 > 5:10-7:10

AROUND MOSTAR, THE BRIDGE AND BRUCE LEE
Italy, 2007
Directed by Sanja Puljar (U of Rijeka, Croatia) and
Vanni D’Alessio (U of Naples Federico II, Italy)
 
Sanja Puljar’s and Vanni D’alessio’s documentary investigates postwar
Mostar and its negotiations with the past and the future among three
national communities: Muslim (Bosniak), Croatian, and Serbian. Each of
them fought with each other in the war, and all of them are forced to
live together after the war (although the Serbian community has been
reduced to a few people). The film talks about a divided town in a new
form of multinational unstable state, in which there are mixed local,
supra-local and international trends towards integration, centralization
and separation. The symbol of the Ottoman imperial heritage (the Old
Bridge), which underwent a process of Muslim/Bosniak nationalization, is
compared to the Bruce Lee monument, which was placed as a global pop
icon against the national discourses, and his memory as a shared space
opposed to the intensive nationalization of
the public monuments and memory.
 
Ana Devic  (U of Glasgow, UK) <Ana.Devic@lbss.gla.ac.uk> will lead the
discussion after the screening. Sanja Puljar and Vanni d’Alessio will
take part in the discussion.
 
------------
 
DIVIDED GOD : CHILDREN OF A DIVIDED SCHOOL/MOSTAR 
Slovenia, 2007 (21 minutes)
A film by KUD Pozitiv, Ljubljana
Contact: Ana Devic <ad155q@udcf.gla.ac.uk> <www.pozitiv.si>
 
Film by a group of Slovenian students about young people growing up in
the post-war Mostar. Film-makers ask: “In what way was religion
connected to the war that divided their city, their people, and their
school?”
 

FILM 4
SATURDAY APRIL 12 > 11:20 AM-1:20 PM

THE MORE YOU SPEAK, THE MORE YOU CRY
Greece, 2007 (75 minutes)
Directed by Dimitri Kitsikoudis
Contact: Dimitri Kitsikoudis <kitsikoudis@mailbox.gr>
 
Three anthropologists, a historian, an islamist and a lot of Pomaks
guide us to the mountain range of Rhodope in the Balkans so that we may
get familiar with the population of the Pomaks, their history, their
culture, their problems, their fears and their hopes. The Pomaks live in
the mountains of Rhodope, in Greece and Bulgaria, along the borders.
Their language is south-slavic and their religion is Muslim. Their
origin has not been scientifically documented. They determine themselves
as Greeks, Bulgarians, Turks and European. Multiple or performative
identity formation has been the only way to escape conflict with
neighbouring ethnic groups and govermental as well as bilateral
agreements between Greece and Turkey have led to their social and
economic marginalization. There is a typical proverb: “Beware of the
Turk’s shot, the Bulgarian’s beating the Greek’s pencil”, because
shooting and beating are forgotten, but the pencil does not forget.
 
Domna Michail (U of Western Macedonia, Greece, <dmihail@uowm.gr>) will
lead the discussion after the film, with the director Dimitri
Kitsikoudis. Ifigenia Vamvakidou (U of Western Macedonia, Greece
<ibambak@uowm.gr>) will present the paper “Critical Analysis of a
Documentary for the Purpose of Teaching History” based on the film.
 
 
FILM 6
SATURDAY APRIL 12 > 2:50-4:50

MILOSEVIC ON TRIAL (Slobodan Milosevic - Pr?sident Under Anklage)
Denmark, 2007 (69 minutes)
A film by Michael Christoffersen
In English and Serbian with English subtitles
 
Nicknamed the Butcher of the Balkans, Slobodan Milosevic died of a heart
attack on 11 March 2006. With exclusive access the director follows the
key players in the specially-created UN tribunal. The key players are
the principal trial attorney, the English barrister Geoffrey Nice, on
one side, and on the other Milosevic’ advisers. The crew has been
behind-the-scenes from the beginning of the trial, in 2002. By following
the players as the trial unfolds and recording history as it happens,
the film gives a unique insight to the strategies and obstacles of the
people involved, marking their conflicts and victories. The trial, of
four years, against Slobodan Milosevic was the longest war crimes trial
before an international court, and the most important since Nuremberg.
 
James Gow (King’s College (London, UK) <mlmajw@btinternet.com> will lead
the discussion after the screening.
 
 
FILM 5
SATURDAY APRIL 12 > 2:50-4:50

A COUNTRY HERE, A COUNTRY THERE
Germany, 2005 (57 minutes)
Directed by Monica Heintz and Alin Rus
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
In Romanian/Moldovan with English subtitles
Contact: Monica Heintz <monica.heintz@u-paris10.fr>
 
Monica Heinz’s documentary film illustrates the intellectual and
political debates, and the everyday confusions linked to the
Moldovan/Romanian identity in the Republic of Moldova. The film exposes
the elements that determine the actual debate on national identity in
Moldova (memories, Soviet legacies, the economic situation, migration,
the situation of mass media) and reveals new issues and concerns
concerning new generations and the future of the Moldovan state.
Romanian-speaking Moldovans who were publicly denying a Romanian
identity through political actions are shown to have, in private
discussions, an unambiguous conscience of a Romanian identity.
 
----------
 
LAST BUS STOP
Finland/Hungary, 2007 (52 minutes)
Directed by Zsuzsa Boszormenyi, Kai Salminen
In Hungarian with English subtitles
Contact: Vajda Katalin, Hungarian Film Union <kati.vajda@filmunio.hu>
 
Imagine a village somewhere deep in Eastern Europe. For more than a
century, its nationality has changed in a season-like cadenza: first it
belonged to the Hapsburg Empire, then to Czechoslovakia, next to
Hungary, then to the Soviet Union. At the end of World War II, the
Soviet Union established a border that divided the village of Szelmenc
(population 1,100) over two separate countries. Families on one side
live in Slovakia, which is now a member of the European Union. On the
other side, their relatives suffer from the unstable political and
economic circumstances in Ukraine. One solution would be to build a
border-crossing, to reunite families after 60 years and to generate some
economic structure. The border-crossing was built - but who is actually
benefiting from it?
 
 
FILM 7
SATURDAY APRIL 12 > 5:10-7:10
NANKING
US, 2007 (88 minutes)
Directed by Bill Guttentag
Contact: Erin Owens, Thinkfilm, < eowens@thinkfilmcompany.com >
 
A powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll
war takes on the innocent; Nanking tells the story of the Japanese
invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World War II. After
days of bombardment, the city fell to Japanese forces, after which
massive atrocities and rape were committed by the occupying forces. The
story is told through interviews with Chinese survivors, archival
footage and photos of the events, and testimonies of former Japanese
soldiers. At the heart of Nanking is a filmed stage reading of the
Westerners’ letters and diaries, featuring Woody Harrelson, Mariel
Hemingway and Jurgen Prochnow. Through its interweave of archival
images, testimonies of survivors, and readings of firsthand accounts,
the film puts the viewer on the streets of Nanking and brings the
forgotten past to life.
 
 
FILM 8
SATURDAY APRIL 12 > 5:10-7:10 
COLOUR ME FREE
Canada, 2007 (48 minutes)
Directed by Areta Lloyd/English subtitles/Contact: Areta Lloyd
<oystermedia@rogers.com>
 
Areta Loyd’s documentary explores the impact of Ukraine’s 2004 Orange
revolution on democratic opposition groups in Belarus. This important
event raised hope for activists in the neighboring country who still
battle President Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule. The documentary
analyses the situation of the generally demoralized opposition and civil
society prior to the 2006 presidential elections and the cat and mouse
game between opposition activists and the police.
 
------------
 
MUSIC PARTISANS
Poland, 2007 (52 minutes)
Directed by MirosA‚aw Dembinski/English subtitles/Contact: Catherine
Pergol/
Studio Filmowe Everest < kasia@studioeverest.neostrada.pl >
 
After A Lesson of Belarusian, shown at ASN 2007, Polish director
Miroslav Dembinsky returns with Music Partisans to a familiar theme,
President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s iron fisted reign in Belarus, this time
seen from the point of view of a number of Rock Bands. Dembinski
interlaces their protest songs with poignant archive images of, for
example, the militia that hard-handedly stopped protest marches. The
film ends with the elections of 2006 that, as was expected, ended in a
victory for
Lukashenko.

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