The Symposium "Film Heritage in Transition", made possible with the support of the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany, will be shifted to a later period, and is scheduled to take place as a largely independent section of the festival from July 24th to 27th 2020. This move guarantees that all planned programme points can be preserved without cuts. The event location will be the cinema of DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum in Frankfurt am Main.
Perestroika, the fall of the Berlin Wall, opening and transformation – but also: corruption, violence and organised crime. The late 80s and early 90s were a period of awakening, and, at the same time, precarity, poverty and desperation ruled in the nations of Central and Eastern Europe. This ambivalence between fresh start and depression is mirrored in "Film Heritage in Transition", this year's topic for the goEast Symposium. With their completely different sense of life, great creative freedom and the will to analyse and remedy society's failings these films drew on the first movements for civil society. Not only the fall of the Wall itself, but also the period beforehand and immediately afterwards shaped narratives that still resonate today: what does the cinema landscape look like in the "transformation" countries from the beginning of Perestroika in 1985 up to the dawn of the new millennium? Many of the era's films relate how yesterday's life is replaced by a new reality, as in Władysław Pasikowski's PIGS (Psy, Poland 1992). The disorientation of everyday post-socialist existence, whose inhabitants constantly seem on the verge of a nervous breakdown, feature heavily in the documentary films of the 1990s, by Sergey Dvortsevoy for instance. Elsewhere, the struggle to simply keep from going under, as in Pyotr Lutsik's THE OUTSKIRTS (Okraina, Russia 1998), determines the plot.
Still, naturally everyday life is not the only subject treated in the late 80s and early 90s. For instance, Milcho Manchevski's BEFORE THE RAIN (Pred dozhdot, Macedonia, Great Britain, France 1994) responded to the wars in ex-Yugoslavia, while the documentary films of Marcel and Paweł Łoziński grappled with crimes of the past that had previously been considered taboo. In THE CHEKIST (Chekist, Russia, France 1992) Aleksandr Rogozhkin depicted the brutality of the Soviet "Cheka" intelligence service for the first time on the big screen, including mass executions.
Also, aesthetic experiments took place in a range of variations – for instance, Russian "Parallel Cinema" (Moscow) and "Necrorealism" (Leningrad) drew inspiration from amateur cinema formats. The films of Igor and Gleb Aleinikov, Boris Yukhananov and Yevgeny Yufit, among others, were screened in 1987 at the Moscow cinema festival "Cine Fantom Fest 87".
All of these films were produced in the context of a radically new situation for the filmmakers. The dissolution of state institutions lead to the widespread disappearance of film funding in the 1990s and a need to find new financing options. International co-productions and television's take-over of film production offered alternatives. The consequences for the cultural memory of the transformation countries were huge, for now films were no longer systematically archived. It was not until the year 2000 that films could be preserved through digitization. But during the period of transformation, cinematic art – perhaps more than any other art form at the time – documented the changes of the societies of the entire former East Bloc and it is precisely these films that are now threatened with extinction. A panel featuring diverse specialists will explore this issue in depth.
Opening - The East, The Film, and the Archive
Panel - Film Institutions / Film Financing in the Transition Period
Panel - New Times, New Topics, New Forms
Lecture - Introduction: Parallel Cinema and Necro-Realism
Lecture - Spaces of Slovak Film in the 1990s
With Marcel Łoziński
With Guy Seligman
goEast presents its programme also in a channel in the videmic app. The channel offers information about the online festival goEast on demand, taking place May 5 to 11, 2020 and about the goEast symposium taking place from July 25 to 28, 2020. You can download trailers of movies and watch them everywhere. A favorites list allows you to plan your visit of the festival. By linking to the festival's online ticket shop, you can easily purchase tickets at any time with your phone.
At the goEast symposium, you receive live recordings of the keynotes and panels with videmic transferred directly to your phone for take away and watching later again. Thus, you do not need to take notes or make pictures of slides with the phone. Here you can get the free videmic app in the App Store or in Google Play.