Between the national and the transnational: Bulgarian post-communist cinema
This article considers the ways in which recent Bulgarian films – Pismo do Amerika/Letter to America (Iglika Triffonova 2001), Shivachki/Seamstresses (Lyudmil Todorov 2007), Prognoza/Forecast (Zornitsa Sophia 2008), Svetat e goliam i spasenie debne otvsiakude/The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner (Stephan Komandarev 2008) and Iztochni piesi/Eastern Plays (Kamen Kalev 2009) – construct national identity in terms of two opposite movements: the movement/escape from the city to the village (imagined as a ‘return’ to the nation’s roots) and the movement from Bulgaria to ‘Europe’ (similarly imagined as a ‘return’ to, or a ‘reclaiming’ of, the nation’s European origins). The article argues that the dominant discourse informing post-communist Bulgarian cinema is a conservative nationalistic discourse based on an obsolete notion of national identity rooted in the nation’s ethno-scape, ethno-history and ethno-memory, which are often regarded as ‘corrupted’ by post-communist developments, including villagecity migration, immigration and globalization.
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