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Monday, 20 June 2016 11:26

Café Cinema: Black

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Photo: Nicolas Vigier (flickr); Licence: CC0 1.0  

The Belgian movie Black draws its audience into the unknown and often cruel world of Brussels´ migrant neighbourhoods. Reminiscent of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the filmmakers have adapted the novels of Dirk Bracke and created a film that is a mixture between thrilling action and bitter reality. The young directors Abdil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have made an astonishing film that is timely as it considers the issues of migration and globalisation.

Published in Cafe Cinema
Thursday, 22 November 2012 13:18

Good Reads 22/11/12

This week two E&M editors share their favourite European reads. From blog posts to essays, it can be anything that amused them, worried them or got them thinking about Europe.

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Velislav, Diaphragm editor

The EU deserved the Nobel Peace Prize...

Recently, the EU as an entity, and respectively each of its some 500 million citizens, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. According to Tim Judah, who has been covering the Balkans for the past two decades, this was well deserved - the EU as a laureate was the "right choice at the right time." While admitting that it is facing considerable difficulties at present, he emphasises its significant security achievements – not only is a war between its Member States now unthinkable, but it has been central to the slow reconciliation between ex-Yugoslav Balkan countries. Citing the foreign ministers of Croatia, Macedonia, and Georgia - all countries that still look up to the EU - he makes a well argued case...

Or perhaps not?

The Economist on the other hand, is more suspicious about the achievements of the EU. The Charlemagne column stresses the current economic turmoil in the eurozone, subtly mocking the committee's choice - "Note that it does NOT win the Nobel Economics Prize."

Published in Good Reads
Friday, 10 February 2012 07:00

The Dreamers

"The revolution is not a gala dinner" - or is it? In the late sixties Mao Zedong's words were on the lips of every French revolutionary. And with the occupy movements still going on all over the world today, it's a good time to take a look at a European predecessor of these protests: in "The Dreamers" (2003), Bernardo Bertolucci, best known for his "Last Tango in Paris," retells the story of the events that shaped the understanding of politics of today's young generation in France.

It's springtime 1968, and Mathew, an American student, strolls the streets of Paris. Mesmerised by French cinema, he spends his days at the Cinemathèque Française. The minister of culture André Malraux has just dismissed the director of the Cinemathèque, Henri Langlois. The building is closed and young cinephiles -  called the "Cinemathèque rats" - gather in front of it to put up banners with political slogans.

The period between March and May 1968 is abundant in student strikes all over Europe in capitalist as well as in communist countries. French students are starting the movement that will become the largest general strike in Europe. The students were backed by most of the French society, and the strike, which included approximately 11 million workers, paralysed the country for several weeks.

Many young French people still aspire to reproduce the spectacular events of their parents' generation. Each year, during strikes, the walls of French universities are covered with classic '68 slogans such as "It is forbidden to forbid" or "be a realist, ask the impossible."
Published in Cafe Cinema
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