This September, Cineforum ‘European Cinema: The Failed Canon’ will take place in Kriterion. Do you think ‘European cinema’ as an entity exists? We invite you to contemplate or contribute your perspectives on the (im)possibility of a European film canon.

Starting off with an opening night on Wednesday September 22nd, Cineforum will continue for two days on the 23rd and 24th of September, during which ten screenings will open the discussion to various themes concerning European culture.

Filmtheater Kriterion, Roetersstraat 170, 1018WE, Amsterdam

Eine Prämie für Irene (1971)

Helke Sander

Irene is a single mother and works in a German washing machine factory, somewhere in the 1970s. As the washing machine is believed to have been the force behind the improvement of women’s positions in the society, the labor behind these post-war welfare products reveals a growing surveillance in capitalist mass production factories.

In solidarity with her female colleagues Irene (played by the director herself) starts to raise awareness not only for the misbehavior male boss, but also for the cameras and loudspeakers that aim to take control over them. As a single mother of two children Irene is not only challenged in relation to her gender and labor, she also has to endure harsh judgements on being a single mother; or being a woman that dares to walk into a bar all by herself. Her relation regarding her children enables her to develop a political consciousness as she recognises the contradiction between how she wants to behave towards the children (tolerant) and how she has to behave towards them according to society (repressive).

Raising her voice in both private and public life, this film has captured Irene as a female martyr of the second wave feminist.

For more info & tickets check

Britannia (1993)

Joanna Quinn

‘Britannia’ is traditionally known as the national personification of Britain. A helmeted female warrior holding a trident as a symbol of her hegemony over the oceans. Originally Britannia was understood as a martial virgin, a brave and pure lady. In this short animation Joanna Quinn challenges this iconography with pen and paper by transforming her into the muscular, hefty body of a British Bulldog. 

Britannia takes a satirical look at British cultural identity. The animated short shows how Britain, driven by lust for power and money, robbed other countries of their pride and national prosperity through colonization.

For more info & tickets check or buy directly here