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Contemporary movies from Central Europe

Although movie theaters have closed down for a while, we don’t have to give up on watching movies. Here’s a top 5 selection featuring the best contemporary films from the region that you can still watch from your couch.

And Then We Danced

(Georgia, 2019)

Directed by: Levan Akin

A sentimental story for the fans of the  coming of age genre. The film follows Merab, a competitive dancer and Irakli, with whom Merab engages in a secret-forbidden romance after his arrival to the dance team, while they battle with questions of sexuality, masculinity, and social identity amid Georgian society’s conservative values. The film’s LGBTQ storyline caused controversy and sparked severe debates in both the country’s Orthodox church and ultra-nationalist forces, which is sad yet powerful witness of the relevance of the LGBTQ representation in present-day Georgia.

Watch it on Vimeo or on the website of Curzon Home Cinema.


(North Macedonia, 2019)

Directed by: Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov

The big film festivals of past years, from Sundance to Academy Awards have all screened Honeyland: a film presenting the life of a middle-aged female bee-hunter in the southern mountains of Macedonia. The movie playfully combines landscape shots presenting vast areas and close-ups of animals, discovering the fine balance and tension in the relationship between man and nature. Honeyland pulls us out from the hive of the global world, and takes us to a universe where everyday life unfolds in a calm and peaceful harmony. 

Watch it on Amazon Prime.  


(Russia, 2018)

Directed by: Kiril Serebrennikov

Like a requiem to the lost past, Leto is a black and white biographical film, presenting the life of Viktor Tsoi, singer-songwriter of popular Soviet band Kino, who became the pioneer of the Russian underground rock scene in the beginning of the ‘80s. With the gloomy atmosphere of a late summer afternoon, the movie is a dramatic story about comradeship, romance and revolution, complemented with the crème de la crème of passionate Western rock music. The movie set in late Soviet Leningrad jumps playfully between reality and dream-like fiction, while the main characters find solace in the songs of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Sex Pistols, Clash or Blondie.

Watch it on the website of Mubi!

In Praise of Nothing

(Serbia, 2017)

Directed by: Boris Mitić

An adorable documentary parody, with Nothing as the main character, who is fed up with being misunderstood all the time. It decides to present distance and loneliness in a series of documentary images, in which a total of 62 cinematographer show what these mean to them. Narrated by Iggy Pop, Nothing comments on all the things seen: life, death, politics, human relationships and the meaning of life. Perhaps this couldn’t be more relevant in the current situation: this documentary is a poetic journey among the mysteries of life, giving an amazing picture of the “whole” amidst the big mess.

Watch it on the website of IDFA. 


(Georgia, 2013)

Directed by: Zaza Urushadze

Two Estonian farmers are harvesting their annual tangerine crops in 1992, in a little village in Abkhazia. They are the last ones staying in their village, the rest of the villagers fled the region as a result of the outbreak of the war between Georgia and Abkhazia. One day, two wounded soldiers, a Chechen mercenary fighting against the Abkhazian separatists and a Georgian soldier from the other line of the battle line, appear on the farmers’ land. The farmers take them in and take care of them while they learn more and more about human fallibility.  Tangerines is about pacifism laying in the background of war: its a gorgeous discovery of the complexity of national identity and human nature.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Source: The Calvert Journal

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