New East Cinema: East Life, Animated

We are delighted to present a screening of 8 short animated films as part of New East Cinema, the programme of contemporary cinema from the New East curated by The New Social.

East Life, Animated: Short Animations from the New East

Animation remains associated with a childish innocence, which strips it of the sophistication automatically relegated to film. Yet, throughout the 20th century, animation has been used to communicate and comment on social and political events and on society’s hopes and fears. Thanks to its very association with childhood, animation has often been overlooked by official censorship in dictatorial regimes, which has allowed it to retain a freedom of artistic expression unique to its form.

This freedom from the censor’s eye could be the reason that animation is still going strong in New East countries. Yet, despite critical claim, Oscar nominations, and screenings at international film festivals, animation still lacks wide exposure. East Life, Animated goes one step towards helping New East animation reach a broader audience.

The selected animations come from countries across the New East, from Hungary and Bulgaria to Russia and Serbia. Together, they explore social and political issues of migration, political demonstrations, identity crises, events linked to WWII, and the Yugoslavian past.

Film programme:

Random Walks – Borbála Tompa (Hungary)

In this animated documentary, we follow the story of five immigrants in Budapest, two of whom are living as refugees, whose interviews lend the film its narrative.

Remake – Csaba Nemes (Hungary)

Taking the strange phenomenon of reenacting both real and fictional events from the 1956 revolution as its starting point, this series of animated films refocuses our attention on the 2006 riots in Budapest fifty years later.

The Shadow Over Prague – Marek Berger (Czech Republic)

In this variation on superhero comics based on Czech folk tales, the phantom avenger with spring-heeled shoes jumps through the streets of Prague to stop the Nazis from waking up the dreadful Golem.

Travelling Country – Vessela Dantcheva, Ivan Bogdanov (Bulgaria, Croatia)

Once upon a time, there was a country on the back of a giant horse, but it was ruined by stupidity and greed. Now, people live in the shadow of what used to be a happy world in this fantastic tale about the search for one’s true identity and freedom.

Distances Are Overcome – Jelena Milunović (Serbia)

Part of the “Radiovision” project, which revives and illustrates valuable audio recordings from the Radio Belgrave archive. Here, writer Isidora Sukulić addresses the youth of Yugoslavia and the world about their mission to create a “zone of wisdom”.

Of Slaves and Robots – Miloš Tomic (Serbia)

Also part of “Radiovision”, this short illustrates a speech by Radivoj Kašanin, a famous mathematician and professor of Belgrade University, addressing his students on an important subject – how not to be a slave or robot.

I, The Animal – Michalina Musialik (Poland)

Three friends play an innocent game in which one takes on the role of a pig and becomes the target of aggression – an allegory of the birth of hatred in Nazi uniform.

Mom, Dad, I have to tell you something – Paul Muresan (Romania)

How do you tell your parents they created a monster?

About New East Cinema

New East Cinema is a bi-monthly film series curated by The New Social, presented by Calvert 22 Foundation in collaboration with the Barbican Centre, which looks across eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia to uncover the most thought-provoking, daring and vibrant cinema coming from today’s “New East”.