This article examines a number of recent European films that tackle the issue of migration from former communist countries to Western Europe. The key films discussed in the article all seek to show how the West is constructed as an object of desire for the inhabitants of the former communist bloc and how the protagonists' fantasies of the West are sustained by ideology even in the face of the harsh realities of contemporary capitalism. Slavoj Žižek's Lacanian model of ideology is applied to the film texts in order to highlight these issues, particularly his notion of “traversing fantasy.” The article concludes by examining the position of the audience in relation to this process.
Going West: Migration and the Post-Communist World in Recent European Film
DAVID CLARKE IS LECTURER IN GERMAN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BATH. HIS RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS INCLUDE CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN CINEMA AND THE LITERATURE OF EAST GERMANY. HE IS EDITOR OF THE VOLUME GERMAN CINEMA SINCE UNIFICATION (BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2005).
David Clarke; Going West: Migration and the Post-Communist World in Recent European Film. Cultural Politics 1 November 2005; 1 (3): 279–294. doi: https://doi.org/10.2752/174321905778054746
Download citation file: