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New Films from the European Union

While the film world focused its critical lens during the late 1990s almost exclusively on the extraordinary work emanating from Asia and the Middle East, a new generation of filmmakers has emerged across Western Europe. Less burdened by the "Tarantino effect" than their North American counterparts, these young directors have modeled a new cinema on the innovative work of filmmakers like Ken Loach in Great Britain and Nanni Moretti in Italy. Often combining the political commitments of the former with the sly reflexive humor of the latter, they have created works of striking originality, which have earned them not only film festival awards but broad acceptance among audiences who have grown weary of the bombast of American-made movies. This survey provides a preview of this latest arena of cinematic achievement from a familiar region, which has been hiding its new talent in plain sight.