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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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8. Reality of corporeality: Female corporeality in recent Slovak social film dramas (Katarína Mišíková)

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Katarína Mišíková

Academy of Perfoming Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia

8. Reality of corporeality: Female corporeality in recent Slovak social film dramas

Abstract: The most distinctive cinematic trend of contemporary Slovak cinema, labeled as social drama, is characterized by current topics, such as racism, relationship between majority and minority, disintegration of family relations, changes in the ethical values of a society undergoing constant economical transformations, prostitution, unemployment, and poverty. Although it is a stylistically rather heterogeneous body of films, it can be described by a prominent realistic tendency. Several of these films are fiction debuts of documentary filmmakers who draw heavily from non-fiction and observational realism conventions, one of these being the portrayal of physical experience. My chapter deals with specific ways the experience of female corporeality in crisis as presented by accentuating the relationship between the physical and the social body. It examines depictions of various physical and social aspects of processes that female characters of recent Slovak social dramas are subject to, such as adolescence, aging, pregnancy and motherhood, physical (self-)abuse, and violence.

Keywords: Slovak cinema, corporeality, realism, female characters

Democratic processes of the 1990s in East-Central Europe and following European integration introduced several new topics into Slovak cinema. One of them was reconsideration of traditional female archetypes and stereotypes in the light of gender studies. In times when turbulent transition to market economy lured away many talented filmmakers among male providers...

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