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Improper Nostalgia? Longing for the Early 1990s in the TV Series Bank (Pank, 2018)


Teet Teinemaa


The 2018 television series Bank (Pank) is one of the most ambitious TV series of Estonia. Because of its large budget and wide intellectual scope, the series represents nearly two decades of Estonia’s social and cultural transformation after the state restored its independence in 1991. The enthusiasm of the early episodes is soon replaced by more sombre tones as the ills of laissez faire capitalism are shown to bear fruit. I will illustrate via close textual analysis and by applying Barry Brummett’s concept of ‘rhetorical homology’ and Svetlana Boym’s understanding of nostalgia why the series’ form can be seen to undermine its social criticism.



Boym, Svetlana 2001. The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books.

Boym, Svetlana 2007. ‘Nostalgia and its discontents’, The Hedgehog Review, vol. 9 (2), pp. 7–18.

Brummett, Barry 2013. ‘What popular films teach us about values: Locked inside with the rage virus’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, vol. 41 (2), pp. 61–67.


Teet Teinemaa received his PhD from the University of Warwick and works as a lecturer in film studies at Tallinn University. He serves as the co-editor of Baltic Screen Media Review and his articles have appeared in journals such as Film International and Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi. He is the convenor of an international master’s programme Literature, Visual Culture, and Film Studies. Teinemaa’s current research interests are post-Soviet masculinities, nostalgia, and irony in Eastern European film.

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