The thought of Alexander Bloc that “the man is the product of the Place, and its representative amongst the people”, and that “everybody has sensed that burden upon his destiny”, maybe never was so proved true as in the Balkan topography of the damnation.
As the newest researches of the Bulgarian literature scientist Alexander Kjosev (done by the epistemology patterns of Michel Foucault) show, the Balkan is a homotopia, or the spot for producing the identities, with a dark erotic potential – so called also as the dark Balkan subject: “The Balkan is institutionalized in the European media as the European sub-conscience. In that Es, all the fears, uncivilized lusts, low or shameful desires, and historical sins of Europe are repressed” (Kjosev, 1995 : 146).
Taking under the consideration this thesis, the Croatian theorist of literature Vladimir Biti, with fully metacritical consciousness is uncloaking this “mirages”. He shows that this deformed, untrue or extreme theories about any region, especially about this one, are constructed as a result of the one-sided projective ideologies of the West, where in behalf of the idealizing the Midst Europe, the “satanization” of the Balkans is administered – as homotopia of the Alterity, repulsiveness, and demonized history.
But, even if we put aside those extremes about the Balkans, there are quite a number of the collective mentality attributes which remains. There are the common customs, the sensibility, the folklore, the urban and the iconography aspects in general; and, the form of a historical development, as the cultural semiosis – which shapes and marks as recognizable the paradigms of this multicultural, and full with paradoxes, European area.
As first, for example, the specific culture hybridization (influences of the Byzantine and Oriental civilization’s basics upon the elements and relicts of the pagan culture) is shown. As a result of that merely severe non-differentiation of the cultural identities, and because of the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural variety at this thopos, we notice a creation of the so-called “auto-image”. Or, we can define that as the self-observing of the Balkans as an European suburb or province, is raised to the level of a global metaphor for marking the essential dimension not only of the urban, but also of the culturally-historical models of development.
Named by the terminology of Fernand Brodel, that kind of a historical development, where the long duration and slow-rhythm are recognizable for (as the duration of the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire) – signifies so-called long term history of a long (slow) time periods. All that results with the area of the cultural self-conscience, and it’s shown by a illustrious number of mutually conditioning consequences: the traumatic fatalism (Lech Myodinski), the so-called root-mentality (one’s incapability to overcome his own history – Vladimir Biti), then, the one’s identification with his surrounding (the geographic region, the national community, the ethnic milieu – Ivan Dorowski). There are also the desire for the other – wider – horizons and ranges, then the deep nostalgia, the incurably bitter melancholy, the feeling of the disorientation, abandonment, frustration, claustrophobia, xenophobia, self-destruction (Predrag Palavestra), then the hatred for the other, the non-tolerance, the paralysis of the will (P. Palavestra), and the inclining to the vices: the alcohol and the gambling…
If we track the implications of the ontological art approach (by Karel Kosik), where the art deed is postulated as “the reflection of the reality”, but also as something that “creates and artistically shapes that same reality”, becoming “the constructive element of that reality” – then, in our study of the Macedonian film phenomena we can use this ontological aspect, besides the already mentioned cultural aspect.
That, in fact, understands the dialogical projection of the film to the other semiotic systems. Also, it understands caution and awareness about the nature of the film itself, in cause of his syncretic and synthetic character.
With its actualization, then with its presentation of the particular verbal and rhetorical models, styles and expressions (both individual, regional or wider – national or cultural), then with its presentation of the iconography (all aspects in general: of the architecture, of the fashion, of the interiors, etc.), and with its choice of the musical background, etc. – the film provides almost ideal, plastic and complex cultural intersection. It provides us the view upon the paradigm of the particular time period or geo-political and cultural area. Also, it provides us the recognition of the distinctive semiotic phenomena tied to a particular time-space (or chronotrop – by Mikhail Bakhtin).
That is the exact reason why, taking into the consideration a number of films which belong to a several different national cinematography productions (the films of Emir Kusturica, Ademir Kenović, Milčo Mančevski, Stojan Stojičić and other) – in this text we are considering about initiating the possibility of researching and studying of the Balkan film semiotics. Said in other words: the question of the existence and functioning of one particular, specific, artistically and culturally united wholeness, with kindred thematic occupations and kindred structures of the conscience, then the similar (or close to it) art poetics, which we can recognize as some kind of a Balkan film poetic…