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

Wings (1966)

“Way up in the clouds, lost in the moment, Nadezhda knew who she was. She had a clear direction and believed in her purpose.” The war ended a long time ago, but for Petrovna only those years were filled with genuine meaning. She deeply feels discord with reality, lack of contact with her daughter. She doesn’t manage to adapt to this peaceful, everyday life, she doesn’t lose her piercing desire to fly…

Wings is Ukranian Larisa Shepitko’s first. The film is about former fighter pilot Nadezhda Petrovna who works as the principal of a provincial school, but is dissatisfied with her peaceful, everyday life with her daughter and misses her old job. The film shows the postwar restlessness of a veteran, combined with feelings of nostalgia and trauma. The film is notable for its humanistic and feminine perspective on war.

When thinking about Soviet cinema, male directors like Tarkovsky and Eisenstein, first come up. However, Larisa Shepitko takes up a prominent place in post-Stalinist Soviet cinema despite her early death. Compared to the filmmakers that flourished within the French New Wave and Italian Neorealists, Wings differs from other Soviet Realism films by focusing on everyday life instead of the lives of heroes. The film was controversial because it showed the struggle between the generations growing up during and after Stalin. This narrative was only possible in the short era between Stalin and Brezhnev as the the rise to power of the latter strengthened state censorship again. Larisa Sheptiko has been called the Dostoyevsky on screen and this film is a must-watch to get a female perspective on this era of the Soviet Union.

For more info & tickets check or buy directly here