sarajevo wall

REMEMBERING BOSNIA: Two Contemporary Bosnian Novels, reviewed by Esther Harper

Selvedin’s Avdic’s Seven Terrors (2012) and Alma Lazarevska’s Death in the Museum of Modern Art (2014) provide a deeply poignant insight into the lives of those who suffered the Bosnian War. Though fictional accounts, the stories evoke clearly the literal and figurative battle endured in Bosnia throughout the early nineties, and give a strong impression…

Esther Harper | 23/12/2015
within the whirlwind gulag

Emily Watson in ‘Within the Whirlwind’ (Gorris, 2009), reviewed by Esther Harper


Within the Whirlwind (Gorris, 2009) is a screen-adaption of Eugenia Ginzburg’s written memoirs, the book of the same name and the earlier Into the Whirlwind in which she tells of her experiences during Stalin’s Great Purge and beyond. Although these books recount two distinct periods of Ginzburg’s life, before and during the years she spent as…

Esther Harper | 28/11/2014

Esther Harper reviews ‘Into the Whirlwind’ by Eugenia Ginzburg (Persephone Books)


Behind-the-scenes accounts of the lives of normal people in Stalin’s Russia are few and far between, so it’s a privilege to have read Eugenia Ginzburg’s memoirs of life as a victim of the period. Into the Whirlwind is a sobering and harrowing testament of one woman’s experience in the prison camp system, and it fills…

Esther Harper | 09/08/2014
birds orphans and fools man

Esther Harper reviews Juraj Jakubisko’s ‘Birds, orphans and fools’ (1969)


Birds, Orphans and Fools, released in 1969, is both a prime example of the Czechoslovak New Wave and a product of the slackening of government censorship during the Prague Spring of 1968. The months of the Prague Spring had provided Juraj Jakubisko and directors like him with the ideal environment in which to create radical…

Esther Harper | 27/06/2014
sun in a net hands

Esther Harper reviews Štefan Uher’s ‘The Sun in a Net’ (1962)


Stefan Uher’s 1962 ‘The Sun in a Net’ (Slkno v sieti) shines an important light on a national cinema which is often overlooked. Slovak cinema finds itself dwarfed and overshadowed by the Czech variety, the geographical and historical proximity of the two countries often making it difficult for Slovak cinema to distinguish its own identity.…

Esther Harper | 07/06/2014