Post Communist Nostalgia in East European Cinema


After the end of the Cold War and transition stages marked by political instability, economic crisis, and ethnic clashes, East European states were transformed into post communist nation states with a liberal market economy. This painful process created discontent, uncertainty, and insecurity among the disillusioned people, overshadowing the trauma of a totalitarian past and creating a certain feeling of nostalgia that emerged all over East Europe in guises such as Jugo-nostalgija and Ostalgie. East European post communist films contribute to post-Communist nostalgia by dealing with the past through individual and collective memory, oral history, urban legends, and documentary and archival footage. This paper is focused on common aesthetic strategies of post communist films, particularly the reduction of past regimes into grotesque ceremonies and the playful manipulation of documentary footage.