CFP: AATSEEL Stream: Neverending History: New Historical Cinema in Russia

Deadline: August 15, 2021

Please consider submitting a paper proposal for the AATSEEL stream of panels entitled Neverending History: New Historical Cinema in Russia. The deadline for submissions is August 15 via AATSEEL website.

Neverending History: New Historical Cinema in Russia

The last ten years of Russian cinema were marked by a search for new ways of narrativizing Soviet history. The trend came to a head in the late 2010s-2020s, with a succession of contentious and widely discussed works: Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole (2019), Andrei Konchalovsky’s Dear Comrades (2020), and the most controversial of them all – Dau by Il’ya Khrzhanovsky (2019-20). Precariously balancing historical accuracy and aestheticism, the films’ desire to destabilize accepted historical narratives became embedded in their form as well as in the plots, sparking a conversation about the emergence of new historical cinema in Russia.

-How do these films transcend cliches of historical cinema and reinvent the genre?

-How does their radical aestheticization of historical events fit with the claims of historical accuracy and the purportedly realistic storylines?

-How does the use of new categories of analysis (gender, class, trauma) affect the films’ vision of the Soviet past?

-And finally, what kinds of commentary about the present political climate in Russia do these films offer?

The stream seeks to answer these and similar questions, and to cast light on one of the most prominent trends in Russian cinema today.