Contemporary Southeastern Europe
Special Issue

Post-Yugoslav Film and the Construction of New National Cinemas

  • Nikica Gilić
Post-Yugoslav cinema is commonly seen as a field abundant in nationalist traits, while the work of post-Yugoslav scholars is criticized for advocating the notion of continuity of nations. However, by analyzing the most representative films from Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav eras, it can be argued that many traits dominant in post-Yugoslav cinema (not exclusively those connected to the prevalence of nationalism) began long before the actual dissolution of Yugoslavia. However abrupt these historical occurrences might have been, Yugoslavia and its cinema still did not sever all ties with the past: the newly forming national cultural traditions and discourses still shared some traits with traditions and discourses from the Yugoslav period of history. This text attempts to explain the elements of these continuous traits, including those which can be observed in films made both before and after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, but also in the films created on the border of the two eras. Since post-Yugoslav countries and cinemas diverge in many ways, this article concentrates mostly on Croatian examples, hoping they will also illuminate other post-Yugoslav situations, while not completely disregarding examples from other leading centers of (post-)Yugoslav cinema.