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

I do not care if we go down in history as barbarians (2018)

World War II is remembered with difficulty throughout the entirety of Europe. The blame is mainly assigned to the Germans, leaving other nations to see themselves either as innocent or as heroes. In Radu Jude's I do not care if we go down in history as barbarians, he denounces Romania's contribution to the persecution of Jew.

The Romanian dictator at the time of the Second World War, Ion Antonescu, called for the "ethnic cleansing" of Jews on the Eastern Front and, according to some historians, thus gave the go-ahead for the persecution of Jews. Yet he is still seen as a hero by some Romanians and many of his crimes are denied. The innovative film shows this in a playful way and brings a lot of nuance. Both the theme and the form bring a new perspective on this history that is relevant to all European countries and can be applied not only to Holocaust remembrance but also to colonialism and other black pages of history.

Introduced by:  Chaja Merk

Chaja Merk is a Jewish intersectional climate activist. She works as a communications expert at Milieudefensie. From Oy Vey Acts, Chaja works against the increasing anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination in the Netherlands.

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