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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Conference Fascination

A retrospective look at the little known subject of Europe’s experimental tradition. This year, we look at the cinematic crystallization of time in both subtle and radical experimental films shot by Baltic filmmakers during the Soviet occupation.

film database

Endless Day
This playful comedy about one adventurous day in Estonia in the 1970s startled the censorship authorities to such an extent with its spontaneity and original cinematic language that they not only banned the film, but ordered its complete destruction. The film was successfully hidden from the “threat of the regime” and after 1990 it was released to the world.
personal program

Endless Day

Virve Aruoja, Jaan Tooming
Estonia / 1971 / 30 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
Going Towards the Spring
A possessed talking spring, a clueless blind man, and wandering humanity, three Fates, and a grand pagan ritual: a dark, poetic, visually bewitching Estonian ballad that can be perceived as a celebration of the archaic world, ecological morality, and as a political allegory on a ritual cleansing for the extinction of an advanced society.
personal program

Going Towards the Spring

Peeter Tooming
Estonia / 1979 / 11 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
Hello, Moscow!
Using dynamic editing of a collage of black and white photos and a multi-layered soundtrack, the first photographic film in the history of Latvian cinema offers a portrait of Moscow in the mid-1960s. Under the symbols of power, hanging threateningly over the streets of the city, everyday life flows by, carefree and triumphant.
personal program

Hello, Moscow!

Gunārs Binde
Latvia / 1966 / 10 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
Home Village
Sunlit images of kolkhoz farm workers during the harvest are interspersed with commentary celebrating rural collectivization and modernization. Yet strong lyrical tones of a disappearing world, old age, and loneliness permeate the ideological undertones of the film. Old villagers and half-demolished buildings symbolize the disappearing villages, deep-rootedness, and love for the land.
personal program

Home Village

Peep Puks, Peeter Tooming
Estonia / 1969 / 11 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
My Riga
At the time this personal take on the Latvian capital and its residents was made, it radically exceeded the ideological rhetoric of contemporary works. It presented one of the first expressions of the poetic documentary film movement, which rebelled against the regime with its stylistic experiments.
personal program

My Riga

Aloizs Brenčs
Latvia / 1960 / 22 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
Open the Door to Him Who Comes
The meditative landscape of a Lithuanian village filled with silent prayer. Tree crowns, church roots, and a rural homestead offer a silent sanctuary that withstands the pressures of the totalitarian regime.  Stonys foreshadowed his cinematic liturgy of ordinariness with his directorial debut.
personal program

Open the Door to Him Who Comes

Audrius Stonys
Lithuania / 1989 / 10 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Ten Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus
An observational film that won the grand prize at the Oberhausen film festival; considered to be a manifesto of the post-Soviet generation of documentary filmmakers using the observation method. The film, without commentary, uses its immersive visual poetics to draw the viewer into the lives of ordinary people in the historical areas of Vilnius.
personal program

Ten Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus

Arūnas Matelis
Lithuania / 1990 / 10 min.
section: Conference Fascination
The Baltic Way
Two million people held hands on August 23, 1989, forming a nearly 700-kilometer-long human chain that spooled out across Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The peaceful protest against the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, signed 50 years earlier, grew into a monumental gesture of expression of moral strength by the occupied Baltic nations.
personal program

The Baltic Way

Audrius Stonys, Arūnas Matelis
Lithuania / 1990 / 10 min.
section: Conference Fascination
The Idylls of Kirtimai
An observational anthropological study follows the life of the residents of the largest Roma settlement in Lithuania. Instead of the usual tendency to draw attention to their poverty, lack of education, and discrimination, the film focuses primarily on an ideologically unencumbered representation of everyday patterns of life.
personal program

The Idylls of Kirtimai

Artūras Jevdokimovas
Lithuania / 1991 / 13 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
The Only Way
A view of the socio-political reality of the Republic of Latvia before it was liberated from Soviet domination. The monochrome collage subvert the symbols of totalitarian power, shatters and breaks down propagandistic images of workers and former political representatives, and reveals the emptiness of their fragile ideological convulsions.
personal program

The Only Way

Viesturs Grazdanovics
Latvia / 1990 / 6 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Central European Premiere
Time
The gap between the human microcosm and the macro view of universal time is depicted in an associative montage using rhythm and tempo as a significant element. Against a backdrop of ebbing and flowing in nature, a human anthill frantically teems, pulsing with the cycles of waking and sleeping, birth and death, sunrise and sunset.
personal program

Time

Mark Soosaar
Estonia / 1983 / 11 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
Welcome to Tallinn!
An urban symphony comprising a visual collage of the Estonian capital city. With an emphasis on rhythm, it sets into motion a stream of compositions depicting various buildings and corners of the city. Its primary focus, however, is on the human element as a bearer of action and vitality, capturing the period of political thaw, carefree fun, and the joy of life.
personal program

Welcome to Tallinn!

Andrei Dobrovolski
Estonia / 1967 / 22 min.
section: Conference Fascination
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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