Cinema Antikomunisto or How Ideology Moves Nothing
The text offers a critique of a “post-ideological” view on ideology in recent documentary films on Yugoslavia. It focuses on two films in particular: Cinema Komunisto (Mila Turajlić, 2010) and Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body (Marta Popivoda, 2013). Both films are interesting especially because they show a certain inversion of Rancière’s concept of “documentary fiction”. Instead of a documentary that would be, according to Rancière, a self-reflective construction of memory (as an independent totality), we face the exact opposite – “documents of fiction” (at the expression of state totality). Both films are characterised by a unique lapidary thesis that the socialist Yugoslavia relied on an ideological force, mythology or fiction that emerged from the outside and precisely from the outside manipulated with the consciousness and the body of the people. We show that the films actually invalidate their own theses, that they oscillate between cold (desubjectivised) observation and warm fascination, that they do not see the real contradictoriness of their own object and reproduce a whole series of mystifications and revisions of history (both of the politics and the history of cinema) of Yugoslavia, desingularising the political meaning of the Yugoslav socialistic project itself. In short, we are witness to film forms of organised oblivion. This is why both films prove to be reproductive for today’s dominant ideology: by negating the historical or real movement of masses caused by the Yugoslav revolution on a completely new subjective basis, the two films block the path to the thought of a new mass politics today.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!