Program

East European Studies Program Travel Grants , Fellowships for Postdoctoral Research in East European Studies

Project

Establishing Shots: Czechoslovak Army Film, 1951-1956

Project

The Army and the Avant-Garde: Art Cinema in the Czechoslovak Military

Department

Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature

Establishing Shots: Czechoslovak Army Film, 1951-1956

The Army and the Avant-Garde: Art Cinema in the Czechoslovak Military

This project explores the relationship between cinema and the state through the case study of the Czechoslovak Army Film studio. Between 1950 and 1971, this studio developed from a producer of propaganda and training films into a center of art-film production, becoming, by its peak in 1968, Czechoslovak cinema's most experimental branch. In addition to tracing new dimensions to the country's postwar cinema, highlighting unexplored aspects of its documentary and short-film cultures, the book re-examines the traditional view of cinema under communism, which sees the state as a monolithic actor, firmly controlling artistic production. It demonstrates how, at certain moments, the socialist state created "bubbles" like Czechoslovak Army Film, spaces at its core that nurtured oppositional works.