Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Features Prominently in Work of RIC Prof. Vince Bohlinger

Vincent Bohlinger

Bohlinger showcases the fascinating cinematic output of Ukrainian filmmakers both in his teaching and scholarship.

Professor and Director of Film Studies Vincent Bohlinger co-edited a special section of the July 2022 issue of  “KinoKultura,” an online journal on Russian cinema.

The section is titled “Focus on Ukraine” and consists of nearly 40 reviews of films and five interviews with filmmakers.

In the Introduction, Bohlinger and fellow co-editors state that the destruction of Ukrainian museums, cultural centers, archives and libraries from Russian shelling and military assaults has inspired an outpouring of artistic production, particularly in the area of cinema. “Focus on Ukraine” is dedicated to showcasing the output of Ukrainian filmmakers.

An expert in Russian and Soviet cinema, Bohlinger spent a year in Russia on a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship and, until the pandemic, traveled to Russia almost annually to research archived documents and films in and around Moscow.

He remarks that “Putin’s invasion in February is actually an all-out escalation of the assault he began in 2014 when Russia invaded and then annexed Crimea. The films I’ve been studying all come after that initial invasion, which was Russia’s response to Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity. Some films directly document the crimes committed during the invasion and occupation. Some films account for everyday life, while others draw on historical events or aspects of Ukrainian culture. All demonstrate a vibrant, energized filmmaking community and confirm a resilient and engaged people.”

Bohlinger will be editing a special section of the January issue of “KinoKultura” on contemporary Ukrainian documentaries and co-editing a section on Ukrainian short films in the upcoming issue of the journal “Short Film Studies.” In the spring 2023 semester, he will teach a course (FILM 353) on Ukrainian cinema. 

“One of the ambitions I have for my upcoming class – and hopefully evident in the work that I’m doing – is to showcase a Ukrainian culture that is distinct from Russia,” he says.