Riverboat Europe

European Cinema

Holiday reading: European Cinema After the Wall: Screening East-West Mobility (Leen Engelen and Kris Van Heuckelom, eds. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013).

My essay, “Riverboat Europe: Interim Occupancy and Dediasporization in Goran Rebić’s Donau, Duna, Dunaj, Dunav, Dunarea (2003)” is in this compilation. I received my copy just after Thanksgiving, and look forward to reading the essays by fellow contributors as soon as the late-semester grading crush is over.

An excerpt from my piece:

A film like The Danube highlights the difficulty of extricating oneself completely from one’s national identity, and indeed points to ways in which holding on to national identity in order to leverage it as a gift or peace offering may be advantageous. Nikola fretfully offers to renounce his obsolete Yugoslavian citizenship to atone for his decade-long absence; Mathilda proposes using her citizenship to fulfill Mircea’s dream of immigration. Most importantly, however, The Danube is one of a number of films that demand a nuanced discussion of hybridity and diasporic identity that [Thomas Elsaesser’s] paradigm of double occupancy can’t provide. Elsaesser’s reflections on double occupation as a state addressed by European policy and European cultural products like film and television take the form of an abstract overview. Rebić’s characters might well describe their lives as doubly occupied by their present and their past, their nationality and their post-nationality, but the “other kinds of belonging, relating and being” (Elsaesser 205: 109) in which they are shown to take part require a different adjective. I propose “interim occupancy” as a term to outline the domains through which double occupieds are often in transit, residing impermanently in widely varying degrees of comfort, health and peace…


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