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Title: Coming to terms with the past : new Bulgarian cinema and the post-communist transition
Author: Anisimovich, Antanina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7963 5729
Awarding Body: Edge Hill University
Current Institution: Edge Hill University
Date of Award: 2019
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In 1989, Bulgaria started its long and complicated process of a post-communist transition. The subsequent economic, social, and political instability, accompanied by a delayed and limited process of decommunisation, shaped a fragmented and polarised narrative about the past. In the context of the lack of official response to this polarisation, several vernacular modes of remembering become more and more significant. Post-communist transition remains an important theme in the new Bulgarian cinema, manifesting the need to discuss and evaluate the legacies of the past. This thesis proposes a multimethod approach to media memory studies, combining textual and contextual film analysis, focus groups with the audience, and interviews with the filmmakers. The thesis begins by evaluating the role of cinema in challenging the East/West binary in the context of the re-evaluation of national identity triggered by the collapse of the communist regime and fuelled further by the accession of Bulgaria to the EU in 2007. The findings show that cinema emerges as a starting point that encourages dialogue about some specific areas of collective memory contestation. The multiplicity of the conflicting interpretations of the communist past is studied through the lens of the co-existence of the discourses of continuity and disruption. Finally, the thesis evaluates the enabling potential of post-communist nostalgia as a critique of the present. It is argued that cinema in Bulgaria emerges as a platform for negotiation encouraging a more nuanced public dialogue about the communist past and the transition.
Supervisor: Evans, Owen ; Trandafoiu, Ruxandra ; Vathi, Zana Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: collective memory ; mediated memory ; national cinema ; post-communist transition ; mediated nostalgia ; post-communist nostalgia ; Bulgarian cinema ; post-communist cinema