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Eastern Europe History & Politics

Kosovo, A House Still Divided?(Life; 5)

Examines the work of the United Nation's Housing Property Directorate in Kosovo (part of the Human Settlements Programme), an initiative to reintegrate the province's Serbs and Albanians by restoring properties to their rightful owners. Since it's inception the HPD has successfully dealt with 29,000 cases. It has made conditions for return easier and offered a cheap, impartial, and safe process where people can come and make their claims. But the HPD's authority has been limited, and its mandate in Serbia is soon at an end.

Kosovo: Rebuilding the Dream.(Life; 34)

During the civil war in Kosovo, all records of Albanian property and land ownership were destroyed allowing Serb families to occupy homes owned by Albanians. In 1999, following the NATO bombing of Kosovo and the return of Albanian refugees, Albanians quickly appropriated Serb homes and property. This segment assesses the success of UN efforts to restore these properties to their rightful owners. 2002. 27 min. (for other installments of series, see Global Issues and Events)

L'chayim, Comrade Stalin!

In 1928, Stalin created the world's first Jewish state in Siberia called the Jewish Autonomus Region (J.A.R.)where young idealists from many nations built a homeland rich in Jewish culture. By 1948, the Jewish population had peaked at 45,000. With Birobidzhan as its capital, it was home to Yiddish schools, theaters, publications and synagogues. This documentary features interviews with pioneer settlers, current residents, footage from Russian archives and scenes from the Soviet propaganda film, Seekers of happiness. 2000. 90 min.

Latcho Drom.

This film presents, in documentary format, a glimpse of contemporary Gypsy life as expressed in a variety of musical settings. Scenes and music from Gypsy cultures in India, Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Spain. A film by Tony Gatlif. 103 min. .
Reviews and articles:
Bori, Erzsebet. "Caravans Without Wheels (Documentary Films on the Roma)." The Hungarian Quarterly (179/2005)

Letters Not About Love.

A skillful and beautifully produced montage by filmmaker Jacki Ochs documenting the five-year letter correspondence between U.S. poet Lyn Hejinian and Ukranian writer Arkadii Dragomoshchenko. The two writers began a confessional relationship portrayed here by readings from their letters as visual images shot both in the United States and the former Soviet Union build upon one another to provide a cerebral and adept exploration of their personal histories and the language, culture and arts of both countries. 1998. 59 min.

Lifting the Yoke. (Blood and Belonging; 4)

This program examines the emotional effects of the establishment or re-establishment of an independent Ukraine and the tension between Russian settlers and native Ukrainians after the break up of the Soviet Union. It also looks at the potential for clashes between the Church and independence-minded nationalists and opinions on both sides on the imposition of the Ukrainian langauge. 1994. 50 min.

Living Under the Cloud: Chernobyl.

Dr. Vladimir Chernousenko, scientific directory of the cleanup of Chernobyl, discusses the devastating impact of the accident in terms of the environment and humanity. Eight years later the death toll is still rising and the land and its life forms are still suffering. 69 min.

Living with Glasnost and Perestroika: Understanding the USSR Today.

Examines the historical development of glasnost and perestroika (openness and restructuring) and their effect on U.S.-Soviet relations. Interviews with emigres and Russian exchange students provide glimpses into Soviet life before and after glasnost. 1989. 58 min.

Marshal Blucher

A Portrait Against the Background of an Epoch. The film tries to unlock the riddle of the dramatic 1930s in the Soviet Union through the biography of one hero. Marshal Vasily Blucher was one of the best Red Army commanders. Yet, in 1938 he was declared an 'enemy of the people' and perished in Stalin's torture chambers. Rare archival footage illustrates the excesses of the Stalin era.
Full-text review from:ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries


First segment: Reports on the lack of media independence in post-communist Hungary where broadcast media are under attack by the government for its "liberal bias." Second segment: A story on the growing number of journalists who are killed while on assignment throughout the world. Third segment: A profile of the world's most unusual radio station--Belgrade's B-92-- which mixes music with anti-war activism in Serbia's capital. Segment from the television program Rights & wrongs broadcast May 28, 1994. 27 min.