24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Walls and Freedom
Documentary dialogue with Francisco Cantú
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Iron Curtain symbolized the establishment of freedom. What does freedom mean today when the United States, Hungary, and other countries build walls along their borders and people who yearn to make it to Europe are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea? Can our freedom of movement within the EU and our comfortable visa-free travel to many other countries be considered freedom when similar rights are denied to people on the run? To what extent do borders protect freedom and to what extent do they contradict it? And can a country that has fortified itself against the outside world in order to guarantee its citizens an “island” of freedom be truly considered free? Francisco Cantú focuses our attention on borders and on the suffering of people who try to overcome them.
Former US border patrol agent, essayist and author of the book The Line Becomes a River in which he reflects on his experience of patrolling the US-Mexican border. Recipient of the 2019 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a finalist for the Orwell Prize for political writing. He lives in the US/Mexican borderlands where he coordinates the Field Studies in Writing Program at the University of Arizona.
Director of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, founded in 1997. He studied documentary filmmaking at FAMU from 1998 to 2005. Hovorka is the co-founder of Doc Alliance, a network of European documentary film festivals, the film market East Silver, and DAFilms, an online distribution platform for documentary films.
Czech director, cameraman, and producer. He studied documentary filmmaking at FAMU and co-founded the Institute of Documentary Film, which helps to promote Czech film abroad. He gained wider public awareness along with Vít Klusák with their controversial film reality show about a fictitious hypermarket entitled Czech Dream. He received the Pavel Koutecký Award for his film The Tadpole, the Rabbit, and the Holy Ghost.