Cover Osteuropa 4-6/2005

In Osteuropa 4-6/2005

The cinema in wartime
Visualizations between 1941 and 1945

Neja Zorkaja

Deutsche Fassung


The cinema mirrors reality. Soviet films made between 1941 and 1945 were for many years interpreted as agitprop and pure propaganda. This is a misinterpretation. In fact, the cinematographically reflected dynamics and visual language of this period anticipated the cinema of the Thaw, the period of new departures in the early 1960s. These wartime films break with the monolithic aesthetic system of Soviet cinema under Stalinism. Directly influenced by the reality of war, a different cinema came into being. Tears, suffering, fear, and degradation are present in these films. The war gave art greater freedom – a tragic paradox of this period.

(Osteuropa 4-6/2005, pp. 319–336)