The Third Generation: Hungarian Jews on Screen


  • Catherine Portuges University of Massachusetts Amherst



The post-Cold War era, with its redrawn European topographies and renegotiated political and cultural alliances, has witnessed the return of Central European Jews to the screen in fiction features, documentary and experimental films, and new media. A younger generation of filmmakers devoted to speaking out on the Holocaust and its aftermath is opening vibrant new spaces of dialogue among historians, literary and scholars, as well as within the framework of families and audiences. By articulating unresolved questions of Jewish identity, memory and history, their work both extends and interrogates prior narratives and visual representations. My presentation compares recent films by several filmmakers with regard to the contested meanings of Jewish identity; issues of gender and the filmmaker’s voice and subject position; the contextualization of historical evidence; and innovative modes and genres of cinematic representation.

Author Biography

Catherine Portuges, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Catherine Portuges is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies. She also serves on the Five College Film Council, consisting of film studies representatives from Amherst, Smith, Hampshire and Mount Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She teaches courses in French and East European cinemas; cinema and psyche; and autobiographical film. Professor Portuges has published widely on contemporary European cinema; national cinemas; and women directors. Her most recent book is Screen Memories: The Hungarian Cinema of Marta Meszaros (Indiana University Press, 1993).






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