Jan 4th, 2010
From the hipsters of Williamsburg in Brooklyn to the cinephiles of France, Romanian cinema is developing a global cult-like following that in 2010 should make Romania famous for something far more meaningful than Dracula, Ceaucescu and Nadia Comaneci. The so-called “New Wave” Romanian cinema is producing film-lovers’ films. They tell stark, lonely stories of micro-human-scale dramas, in impressive defiance of all the mega trends and commercial might of the global film industry, which tends to favour big stories, grand, sweeping tales of heroes, wars and disasters and the great processes of history.
Nov 16th, 2009
The Boyko Borisov show November 16, 2009 — Sofia Writer: Matthew Brunwasser The professional CV of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov does not read like your standard head of government: firefighter, private security company owner, black belt in karate, trainer of the national karate team, bodyguard of the former Tsar Simeon II and communist dictator Todor Zhivkov and head of the national police.
Oct 29th, 2009
Relationship breakdown October 29, 2009 — Istanbul Writer: Matthew Brunwasser There are good reasons to condemn Israel for its incursion into Gaza last December: some 1,400 Palestinians were killed as Israel got tough on Hamas a month before parliamentary elections. But Turkey’s diplomatic response has snowballed to enormous proportions – leaving Turkey-watchers wondering whether Gaza wasn’t just a convenient excuse for the Islamist government in Ankara to shed a historical ally it really considered distasteful all along.
Oct 14th, 2009
Taking offence, Turkish style Offending Turkishness and common sense October 14, 2009 — Istanbul Writer: Matthew Brunwasser Turkey is schizophrenic about human rights. The country has made important steps towards protecting minority rights at home and reducing conflict in the region. But at the same time it continues to brutally silence critics – unable to tolerate either political opposition or those who challenge the myths of the Turkish nation.