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Cinematic images of nation-ness: Space, time and gender in Young Eagles (Estonia) and Lāčplēsis (Latvia)

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In this article, I analyse cinematic time and space and their interaction, in which nation-ness is articulated as a unifying identity in the epic films Lāčplēsis/Bear-Slayer (Latvia, Aleksandrs Rusteik is, 1930) and Noored Kotkad/Young Eagles (Estonia, Theodor Luts, 1927, digitally remastered in 2008). In discussing the time space organization of nation-ness in these films, I address representations of the political ‘birth of a nation’ and modern national identity. I discuss the ways in which the narratives in Young Eagles and Lāčplēsis re-claim a traditional gender binary, predicated on a splitting and differentiating relationship with Otherness, embodied in the sexual threat of male enemy figures and enacted in history, politics and ethnicity.

Keywords: femininity and masculinity; gender; historical/combat film; identity; narrative time and space; nation-ness

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/seec.3.1.69_1

Affiliations: University of Latvia

Publication date: March 16, 2012

More about this publication?
  • In the years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the political changes of 1989/90, there has been a growing interest in the cinemas of the former countries of the Eastern Bloc. There is a growing community of scholars, including a number of students working for post-graduate qualifications, who are engaged with film but also media, culture, and art (of one form or another) from the region. This is not a community existing on the margins of academia but one which is nationally and internationally recognised for the centrality and high quality of its scholarship. Studies in Eastern European Cinema provides a dynamic, innovative, regular, specialised peer-reviewed academic outlet and discursive focus for the world-wide community of Eastern European film scholars, edited by a board of experienced, internationally recognised experts in the field.
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