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FILM REVIEW: Licu, a Romanian story (Dumitrescu, 2018) – ‘a rainy afternoon film with glimpses of truth-telling’

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Licu, a Romanian story is a sufficiently encompassing title: personal and national anecdotes line up like neat little toy soldiers in Ana Dumitrescu’s 2018 documentary. Licu, a 92-year-old man, muses on his life in the past near-century in Romania and the memories that have come to be his primary companions. Licu’s a fine and subtle narrator:…

Andreea Scridon | 01/09/2018
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NEW RUSSIAN DRAMA WEEK: 4 contemporary Russian plays

New Russian Drama Week by Xameleon Theatre Plays from the Russian speaking world. Series of rehearsed readings. Directed by London based Russian  directors – Dmitry Turchaninnov and Alice Terekhof. 13th September – Tanya Tanya by Olga Mukhina – In English with Russian surtitles. Translated by John Freedman. Directed by Dmitry Turchaninov. 14th September – Tomorrow by Natalia…

Julia Secklehner | 29/08/2018
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Theatre Review: ‘All That Remains’ (Olesya Khromeychuk/Molodyi Teatr London, 2018) – ‘a rare chance of grasping a genuine perspective about the conflict in Ukraine’

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Molodyi Teatr London, a Ukrainian-British theatre group which has previously produced successful shows like Bloody Europeans and Penetrating Europe or Migrants Have Talent, performed the premiere of its latest play All That Remainsin Camden People’s Theatre on 30th of June. All That Remains, written by Molodyi Teatr member Olesya Khromeychuk, somewhat departs from the cabaret-like…

Iga Szczodrowska | 19/08/2018
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BOOK REVIEW: Varujan Vosganian’s ‘The Book of Whispers’ (Yale University Press, 2017) – ‘this book will one day have its place among the ranks of the classics’

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Varujan Vosganian is an Armenian-Romanian poet, essayist, and politician. His The Book of Whispers, or Cartea şoaptelor, sold in over 60,000 copies in Romanian, was originally published in 2009. In 2017, Yale University Press published the book in Alistair Ian Blyth’s lauded translation: it was longlisted for the 2018 PEN Translation Prize. The Armenian genocide…

Andreea Scridon | 21/07/2018
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Exhibition Review: Vladimír Kokolia’s ‘Epiphany’ (Ikon Gallery, Birmingham) – ‘a guaranteed conversion’

‘I only paint what I see’, says Vladimír Kokolia, one of the Czech Republic’s most established contemporary artists. For most, seeing the ordinary and the everyday’s an act of involuntary dismissal. For Kokolia, seeing the everyday’s wonderment. His first UK exhibition, Epiphany, hosted by the Ikon gallery in Birmingham, is a precious lesson in looking and seeing.…

Camelia Ciobanu | 18/07/2018
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‘Youth on the March’ KinoKlassika Review: ‘Assa’ (Solovev, 1987) – ‘a fight to the death between young and old, corrupt and innocent’

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Assa starts with a bang: a sequence of spellbinding opening credits in lurid pink playing over footage of two drummers, skinny youths in tatty clothes and dirty blond hair. It ends with a bang, too. Viktor Tsoi, legendary frontman of Russian rock band Kino, strides onto the screen to sing his famous anthem ‘Peremen!’ –…

Eva Rosenthal | 22/06/2018
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Review: ‘Visual representations of Roma people: moving beyond stereotypes’ – Exhibition workshop at the Balassi Institute

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In her welcome to the event, Eszter Pataki, Director of the Hungarian Culture Centre and a former journalist, pronounced that ‘the Roma community is part of the shared culture in Hungary’, yet ‘many stereotypical images exist in the media even in the UK.’  The phrase ‘of Eastern European appearance’ always appears in a negative context.…

Alison Miller | 21/06/2018