I think This is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship, Comrade! International Romances in Czechoslovak Co-productions (Those Born in 1921 /1957/, May Stars /1959/ and Interrupted Song /1960/)

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Year of publication 2012
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description For international co-productions in general, and for the Czechoslovak co-productions during the 1950s in particular, border-crossing romances represent essential nourishment for the narrative engine. I have chosen the three headlined Czechoslovak co-productions – which had been the only three co-productions situated to the period of World War II and produced in Czechoslovakia till 1960 – to point out how much were the love plots determined by the ideological lines separating the actual or potential lovers. In Those Born in 1921, a Czech young man drawn to Germany for forced labour falls in love with a German nurse. He denies participate in his friends escape to home and elects to stay with his love instead. She is arrested, however, and the Czech guy is left with a German communist, a member of resistance movement. May Stars signals a romance between a Czech girl and a young Russian officer who just liberated her village – a possibility of romance is suggested just to be erased afterwards together with the officers home address. Just the love between a Slovak soldier, serving first in the German army and then in the Czechoslovak Army Corps, and a Georgian nurse is guided to the happy end: the Slovak, first imprisoned by the Soviet army, proves his loyalty and bravery and substitutes his Georgian friend – and the nurses brother – who was killed on the Western front. I want to argue that the stories of love between members of two nations was influenced by the concepts which were inevitably dragged into the field of potential interpretations: collaboration, betrayal, gratitude, and, above all, the dynamic of the relation between two nations as occupied, liberated, doomed, redeemed, colonised, (un)equal.
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