Thesis

History, film, and politics of cultural memory in post-1989, East-Central Europe

This thesis is an attempt to analyze the shift in Polish and German cinema’s respective approaches to the historical narrative of WWII and the Holocaust. It deals with concepts of post-1989 national identity and the politics of film/cultural memory reflected through cultural texts (films) and institutions (cinema). The thesis examines the question of the correlation of (state) funding and filmmaking in post-1989 Poland and Germany. This thesis focuses on a short and recent period (1989 - present) to examine the nature and the socio-historical context of the shift in Polish and German cinema rather than the outcomes of such change. In a sense, it is a case study of the political changes reflected through cultural texts (films) and institutions (cinema) in Central Europe as a consequence of the fall of the Iron Curtain. Putting this more broadly, it argues that state-funded cinematic productions exhibit a significant and ideological shift in the Polish and German portrayal of WWII and the Holocaust.

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