New neighbours, old habits and nobody's children: Croatia in the face of old Yugoslavia

Sudar, Vlastimir (2014) New neighbours, old habits and nobody's children: Croatia in the face of old Yugoslavia. In: Mazierska, Ewa , Kristensen, Lars and Naripea, Eva, (eds.) Postcolonial approaches to Eastern European cinema : portraying neighbours on screen. London, U.K. : I.B. Tauris. pp. 227-251. (International library of the moving image) ISBN 9781780763019


The research aim of this project was to see to what extent the concept of post-colonialism could be applied to art production in the former countries of the Eastern Bloc; and in particular, how productive is such a perspective in understanding the relationships between the countries that constituted the Bloc. In order to conduct this research, films were analysed both as case studies and as historical resources. Using textual and discourse analysis as the principal method, films are analysed from most of the European countries that were once Communist. Focus in this essay is on Croatia and its position within the former Yugoslavia. The fairly recent film 'No One’s Child' (2008) by Arsen Anton Ostojić, is analysed as the main case study. Through close reading of this cinematic text, the notion of The Other is also used, as elucidated by Emanuel Levinas, in order to see how the notion of The Other is applicable to the various Balkan ethnic groups. The analysis proved to be a productive way to observe various identity-building projects, in terms not only of ethnic groups, but of nations and states. The research also demonstrated the way in which various political factions make use of these situations to further their own aims, often going against the interests of those whom they ostensibly represent.

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