Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2022

In Osteuropa 6-8/2022

Film and Film Industry in Ukraine
30 Years of Decolonization: A Balance Sheet

Ivan Kozlenko

Deutsche Fassung


The history of Ukrainian cinema and the film and television industry over the past 30 years is a history of an arduous process of liberation from colonial dependencies. It reflects the development of Ukrainian national identity, the language issue, and the political economy of a contested sector. After a decline in the 1990s, dependence on Russian capital and the Russian market led to the industry’s Russification. Money and ideas, including aggressive anti-Ukrainian and anti-liberal views of history, came from Moscow. Russian-language films were produced in Ukrainian studios for low wages. Change came only in 2014. Funding for cinema was improved, legal language quotas in the production and post-dubbing of films were better enforced. This weak-ened the Ukrainian television lobby’s ties to Russia, but led to disputes over the distribution of funding. Beyond the struggle for big money, the past 30 years has seen the emergence of excellent documentaries and a Ukrainian cinéma d’auteur that enjoys a permanent place at international film festivals.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2022, pp. 393–420)