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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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Introduction (Janina Falkowska)

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Janina Falkowska

Introduction

The book Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas explores small cinemas in view of their presentation of the difficult and controversial times we live in today. The authors concentrate on the dysfunctionality of political, economic, and social systems; shifting national identities; the exploitation of women and children; terror and the war on terror; and finally, gender and race stereotypes. These phenomena are studied from the point of view of both interdisciplinary and intercultural studies, social economy, political theory and film studies.

Small, non-commercial cinemas have always had the tenacity and bravery to deal with controversial topics, tackle uncomfortable issues and present them in an uncompromising fashion. Primarily independently funded and not always financed by their governments or big corporations, they can more truthfully address the aforementioned topics compared to Hollywood cinema, which is restricted by its funding policies and political attitudes.

The most distinctive aspect of the book is its timeliness as most chapters deal with controversial and politically loaded subjects and the here and now of lives all over the world in the films that are both frank in content and innovative in aesthetics.

It is worth noting that the two main topics of the book, conflict and controversy, are interpreted in various ways in the selected chapters. The conflicts are not only political in nature as presented in the films (as illustrated in chapters in Part 1), but also they are...

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