Being that I live close to Facets, I have a pretty good connection to the films of Eastern Europe. I thought about maybe having a poll for which of the Eastern countries made the best movies, but I thought that would be too easy.
I've grown quite fond of Hungarian film recently. I have not seen a great deal of films from the country, but all I've seen have been well worth recommending. Granted like many times, the first was still the best, being Miklos Jansco's Red and the White. More and more of these films are slowly coming out on DVD, I know that Love (1971) is an upcoming Kino release, and it is also coming out in Europe within the next month or two.
The country that has always gotten the most attention through film history and what not was Czechoslovakia. The Czech new wave to me is actually pretty weak. It only lasted for roughly four years, and I don't think it produced a great deal of proportional masterpieces. Sure there is always gonna be praise to go around for Closely Watched Trains and The Shop on Main Street, but even those films are slightly overrated imo. I still look forward to seeing Diamonds of the Night, which is disturbingly out of print, hopefully Facets will get on this, they released that and Report on the Party and the Guests on VHS many years ago, so here's hoping.
Yugoslavia is a tough country to understand in it's film movement. The availability of it's films are extremely scarce. A recommended list of films from the nation basically reads like a filmmography of Dusan Makajevek and Emir Kustirica. The few films not directed by these two men are completely impossible to find here in the US, so it's hard to judge a countries films based on the work of just two directors.
Poland has on the hand has a much more varied cinematic output. There are numerous key players from here, and lots to go around on various home video sources. Kieslowski is obviously the most popular among modern audiences, and the majority of his important Polish films are available on DVD, I still wait for the Calm Before the Storm, but I'm picky. Both Andrzej Wajda and Andrzej Munk are easy to come across. Munk because he only made 2 1/2 films, all of which are essentials, and Wajda has a whole boxed set of films available. I've been gradually discovering the work of Kryzstoff Zanussi as well, and his Family Life is a great place to start.
Then we have the USSR. The country with teh longest and most influential film history, and the only one of these countries still making a dent in international film (Bela Tarr notwithstanding). Historically the edge has to go here, simply between the montage movement and Andrei Tarkovsky it's hard for anyone to compare. I know Alexander Sukorov is hit or miss amongst this crowd, and I've still only seen Russian Ark, so I can't make any judgement calls.
So call this a general salute to the films made under the iron curtain, contribute what you can, make a list if you feel like it, but salute the films from this period in this part of the world.