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The Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and RussiaBetween Pain and Pleasure$
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Ewa Mazierska, Matilda Mroz, and Elzbieta Ostrowska

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474405140

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405140.001.0001

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Aerial Bodies in Polish Cinema

Aerial Bodies in Polish Cinema

(p.222) Chapter 11 Aerial Bodies in Polish Cinema
The Cinematic Bodies of Eastern Europe and Russia

Dorota Ostrowska

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the representation of the dynamics of the body in flight in selected Polish films from the period of state socialism including The Case of Pilot Maresz, Against Gods, To Destroy the Pirate and On the Earth and in the Sky. The discussion centers on the idea of ‘socialist aerial bodies’, which is informed by Paul Virilio's reflection about the relationship between the body and technologies developed for the most part during the Cold War, which coincided with the period of state socialism in Poland. Virilio’s arguments are not nuanced in the way that reflects the differences in the impact that war technologies, such as flying, might have had in the socialist context as opposed to the non-socialist one with which he was much more familiar. This chapter is an attempt to fill this gap in Virilio's reflection on the aerial body by discussing the development of a specific representation of the body, referred to here as a ‘socialist aerial body’, which is impacted not only by the advancements in the technologies of flying, but also by ideological concerns - some of them unique to the socialist context.

Keywords:   Aerial body, Paul Virilio, Socialism

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