Films shed light on life on border between East and West

Ljubljana/Nova Gorica/Gorizia/Trieste – Ljubljana and Nova Gorica in Slovenia, and Gorizia and Trieste in Italy will host a series of screenings and debates that will focus on life on the border between Italy and the former Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1954 through the medium of film.

The multi-year project East-West, the Frontier in Cinema and History 1945-1954-2025 is coordinated by Kinoatelje of Gorizia in cooperation with many partners from Slovenia and Italy and the broader area.

From Monday until 16 May film screenings and debates will be held at the Slovenian Cinematheque in Ljubljana, Nova Gorica Culture Centre, Palazzo del Cinema in Gorizia and Cinema Ariston in Trieste.

The debates will see a number of acclaimed historians, sociologists and authors who write on film from both countries reflect on the turbulent history of the shared border area.

The film retrospective will kick off with The Third, a 1949 film noir by Carol Reed which is set in post-war Vienna, divided into four zones operated by the allied powers.

Trieste, which was similarly divided into two zones, will be in focus of selected Italian and Slovenian films made in the earliest period after WWII; France Štiglic’s On our land (1948) and Trieste (1951), Hearts without Borders (1950) by Luigi Zampa, and La città dolente (1949) by Mario Bonnard.

Both Italy and Yugoslavia produced an extensive collection of films and newsreels in this period. Even though they document the same events, they often show them in completely different ways.

Palazzo del Cinema will screen Jasna Hribernik’s 2010 documentary No White Bread, and Our American Days, a 2014 documentary by Chiara Barbo and Andrea Magnani, as well as news reels to provide starting points for reflection on how the locals on both sides of the border saw the Allied government.

Trieste 1948, a documentary by Franco Giraldi, will take the audience through the turbulent post-war period and the impact of Informbiro on the Communist Party in Trieste. His restored debut film Kras will also be shown.

The East-West aims to evaluate the common heritage through moving pictures and a series of activities, and to showcase it internationally. An international retrospective of select film classics and documentary archival material will be organised in 2025 in large European cities.

The project is part of the programme of the 2025 European Capital of Culture hosted by Nova Gorica and Gorizia.