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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas


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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19. Once upon a time there used to live a people… Neighborhooders and The Heritage as fairy tales about the Polish “excluded” (Marta Stańczyk)


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Marta Stańczyk

Instytut Sztuk Audiowizualnych Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Poland

19. Once upon a time there used to live a people… Neighborhooders and The Heritage as fairy tales about the Polish “excluded”

Abstract: Polish society still carries its wounds after years of communism and political system transformation as the introduction of capitalism brutally threw out all the people who were passive in their society and their own life under the Polish Peoples’ Republic into the social margin. They were neglected not only in the social-political sphere but also in the cultural one. In Polish films, only their decay or glorification was shown, which increased the feeling of exclusion. This situation has been illustrated by the films Neighborhooders (2014, Grzegorz Królikiewicz) and The Heritage (2011, Andrzej Barański). Both film directors are looking for a new language of expression to portray the fate of a lower class – they transcend the discourse of social engagement and instead of using the language of Cepeliada and folklore, they create stories bordering on fairy tales.

Keywords: Neighborhooders, The Heritage, Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Andrzej Barański, Andrzej Leder, lower class, exclusion, identity, film language, Polish cinema

Polish society still carries its wounds after many historical turbulences, many of which occurred only in the twentieth century: occupation by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, years of communism and the political system transformation, and the introduction of capitalism which brutally threw out...

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