Contemporary Southeastern Europe
Special Issue

Under the Banner of Pathé: Cinema in the Balkans in its Formative Years (1896-1912)

  • Karl Kaser
The French film company Pathé dominated the emerging international film market until the beginning of WWI. This analysis will concentrate on the relatively short time between the first film screenings in the region in 1896 and the outbreak of the First Balkan War in fall of 1912. Concretely, it will shed light on mobile and permanent cinema in the Balkans in a European context in the initial two subsections. The third part investigates, using the example of the Serbian capital Belgrade, whether and to what extent its population was prepared for this new visual adventure cinema. The fourth subsection, finally, analyses how the European film industry under the banner of Pathé developed and which role the cinema balkanica played in it. The weak economic development of the region as well as cultural-religious concerns were responsible for the minor role the Balkans played in international cinema.