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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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14 Homicides

14 Homicides

director: Jona Gerlach
original title: 14 Homicides
country: United States
year: 2015
running time: 34 min.

synopsis

The state of Utah has very broad definitions of when a police officer can use a weapon on duty. Last year, 14 controversial deaths were caused by the police. This documentary, based on traditional film structure, is made up of 14 two-minute static shots of the crime scenes. The soundtrack consists of recited texts made up of interrogation reports and the responses of people close to the victims. The objective communication sharply contrasts with the tragic incidents. The fixed camera view becomes a sad reminder of a fatal incident which paradoxically most authorities consider to be justified.

DETAIL:
An attorney for the Hunt family says they don't believe Darian attacked officers with the toy sword. He also stated that he was a harmless and innocent young man who was drawn into an incident provoked by the police.

biography

Jona Gerlach, a writer and filmmaker, received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah and recently began studying media arts at the University of Montana. Here he wants to focus primarily on the creation of experimental and documentary films. 14 Homicides is his directorial debut in which he combines some of the elements of avant-garde film with the starkness of realism.

more about film

director: Jona Gerlach
producer: Talena Sanders
editing: Jona Gerlach

other films in the section

Skokan
Director Petr Václav calls Skokan a documentary film with fairy-tale aspects, mainly because of its emphasis on authenticity in telling the fictional tale of a Romani recidivist in search of career opportunities at the Cannes film festival. The main character is played a by real ex-con, Julius Oračko, whom the filmmakers got out of prison on parole shortly before the start of filming. The film was shot with just a rough script, which was fine-tuned on the set. The scenes from Cannes were shot during the festival. The ending, which recalls the liberation of an enchanted princess, again feels like a fairy tale.“We improvised most of the scenes during filming – we used the places we were able to get into and the light that was available. Above all, I tried to capture the experiences of the main character,” P. Václav

Skokan

Petr Václav
Czech Republic, France / 2017 / 93 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Forensickness
This video essay, a work that blurs the lines between film and professional text, is based on the creator's reflection of Chris Kennedy's Watching the Detectives (2017), which depicts the hard work of amateur social detectives on Reddit who try to uncover the perpetrator of a terrorist attack at the 2013 Boston marathon. The film is a kaleidoscope of seemingly incoherent associations, philosophical considerations, and humorous comments, which subtly criticise the current obsession with finding the culprits of tragedies at all costs; and through formal experimentation, the film points to the neurotic need to monitor and punish today's society.   „Too often research stories focus on final results or findings; but that’s not how it’s done! In actuality research involves a lot of wandering – a lot of intellectually “flânerie” if you like – and in many cases the wandering is much more interesting and rich than the results.“ Ch. Galibert-LaînéQ&A with Chloé Galibert-Laîné:  
personal program

Forensickness

Chloé Galibert-Laîné
France, Germany / 2020 / 40 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
The Deathless Woman
The far right is on the rise again. Racial intolerance is spreading through real and virtual spaces. Which is why a woman buried alive in the Polish forests during World War II comes back to life to commemorate the history of violence against the Roma. Her “avatar” becomes a young researcher visiting locations in Poland and Hungary where Roma have lost their lives both in the distant and recent past. Thanks to the authentic testimonies and staged passages that blur the line between mystery novel and dreamlike horror, buried secrets come to light serving as both a warning and a reminder. “An uncanny series of events led me to a Polish forest. Later I found out this place was the forgotten grave of the Deathless Woman. Looking back now, I realize she'd been there all along, guiding me.” R. Mortimer

The Deathless Woman

Roz Mortimer
United Kingdom / 2019 / 88 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
At home, walking
This poetic documentary about pilgrims is adapted to the rhythm of their walking. It serves as an act of liberation and knowledge, returning man as well as meditation to the present moment. During the annual pilgrimage through the Deccan Plateau, the differences between the sexes, different religions and castes become blurred. They are all aiming for the same goal. One of the many millions of pilgrims is the author herself, describing her impressions on a journey across the country and her journey in finding herself. Conceptualized as a personal diary, the film also calls for deceleration in an overly technological and fast-paced world.

At home, walking

Rajula Shah
India / 2019 / 114 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
Buenos Aires Free Party
Banal scenes from the preparations for and during the course of a freetechno party regularly alternate with a frenetic sequences of events from Argentine history to produce a hypnotic and frightening trip. On the one hand is the aesthetic of the music video and its ability to capture the state of entropy across time by using audiovisual repetition and playing with pacing, color and brightness. On the other hand is an effect-free record of real life, specifically the freetechno subculture, whose non-aggressive nature contrasts with the destruction and chaos that rule the surrounding world.  DETAIL: The monotonous rhythm of flying over Buenos Aires is broken by a flash of fear: one frame of an attacking monster.

Buenos Aires Free Party

Homero Cirelli
Argentina / 2014 / 74 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
noimage
FilmSTORYTELLING is a personal journey back in time to visit the legendary Wichi and Toba tribes. At a time when their lands have been devastated, Gustavo Salvatierra returns to the forests of northwest Argentina to listen to the stories about fire, tigers, fish, and gods that have kept this society together and allows the people to see nature and time differently.

Sip'ohi - Manduré place

Sebastián Lingiardi
Argentina / 2011 / 63 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Kiruna – A Brand New World
Apocalyptic depiction of an area literally engulfed by the mining industry is presented in this documentary that observes the eponymous northern Swedish city, part of which was abandoned due to activities in the nearby iron mine. The mining company’s management decided not to halt profitable mining activities and instead made the decision to move the residents of the threatened district. Using footage shot in the city inside the Arctic Circle and directly in the mines, the director has uncovered subtle film imagery, and using the stories of three protagonists now living in a bizarre inter-time, imaginatively addresses the topics of resettlement, tradition, and respect for a particular location. “The dystopian story of Kiruna is about lost people looking for a home in an uprooted city. It shows the dark side of the advanced society, whether in Sweden or the Czech Republic.” G. Stocklassa

Kiruna – A Brand New World

Greta Stocklassa
Czech Republic / 2019 / 87 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
Dark Matter
A film with almost no words, about things that people do not usually talk about. Army testing has turned an Italian army firing range into a dangerous place for people and all nearby living beings. Not coincidentally, it is a place reminiscent of the Zone in Stalker – a place that arouses curiosity precisely through its forced negation of life. Dark matter is a hypothetical form of matter that does not interact with light. It neither emits nor absorbs light. Dark matter has no radiation and no shadow. And yet, scientists are convinced that it exists.

Dark Matter

Martina Parenti, Massimo D'Anolfi
Italy / 2013 / 77 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Time Splits in the River
Four artists decide to make a film where apolitical parents play parts of dissidents from the 1980s. Later, they show them the footage, unfolding discussions about art and politics. A  fascinating conceptual therapy revolving around traumatic  events of the history of Taiwan combines a highly artistic style with the informal, echoing, in the best possible sense, the saying ‘the personal is political’. Idiosyncratic, half-improvised ‘performances’ of the protagonists, who embody a story fromthe life and work of writer Shi Mingzheng, and the visual side of the film, just as poetic as it is funny, make this film a highly personal experience that is difficult to categorize.“Through re-enacting the social minority’s experiences , the filmsheds light on new negotiations between the social majority and other dissidents, while exposing the impossibility of family communication.”

Time Splits in the River

Yu-Ping Wang, Chia-Hung Lee, I-Chieh Huang, Xuan-Zhen Liao
Taiwan / 2016 / 89 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
(T)ERROR
Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a former Black Panther member, is now working for the FBI. His task is to discover signs of terrorism in American Muslim communities. This reportage captures the dimension of paranoia that exists in the USA’s security police in the best tradition of the American investigative reporting style. The director reveals undemocratic principles underpinning the functioning of American democracy.The attempt to uncover a crime before it occurs becomes an exercise in chasing phantoms, leads to a distortion of facts, and spreads feelings of fear amongst often innocent people.DETAIL:“Do you think your present right now is in any way related to your past?” “Well, I don't have a past, I don't even wanna make bring it back up. I really don't.”

(T)ERROR

David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral
United States / 2015 / 84 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Katyusha: Rocket Launchers, Folk Songs, and Ethnographic Refrains
What is the effect of an overheard melody, especially when it sounds almost painfully familiar? In a house full of personal photographs and to the sound of a barrel-organ melody, the film’s director explores the history of her family, which was forced to flee from the Soviet Union before the Second World War. This experimental anthropological film is a mediation on the shared experience of song and the phenomenon of memories associated with popular melodies. As if fired from the eponymous rocket launcher, the artificial folk song Katyusha soared through civilizational skies to become the soundtrack of more than a few human tragedies.“Conflating years of research, archival digging, and excerpts from familial, institutional, and other collections, Katyusha is an experimental documentary that ruminates on the circulation and constructions of cultural memory and national(ist) narratives.” 

Katyusha: Rocket Launchers, Folk Songs, and Ethnographic Refrains

Kandis Friesen
Canada / 2016 / 38 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Profession: Documentarist
This group project by seven independent women documentary filmmakers from Iran – who were brought together by the desire to capture the world around them despite the dangers they face in their work every day – is a courageous voice for the emancipation of Muslim women. The autobiographical chapters, which all make use of voiceover, represent a personal testimony on the disappointments and hopes for political change at the next presidential elections. For Western viewers, the film is a remarkable report on the mood in contemporary Iranian society.DETAIL:“We Iranian documentary directors have movies that can only be made in our minds. Sometimes, we tell them to each other. This is one of these movies I’m going to tell you now.”

Profession: Documentarist

Nahid Rezaei, Sahar Salahshoor, Sepideh Abtahi, Mina Keshavarz, Farahnaz Sharifi, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Shirin Barghnavard
Iran / 2013 / 80 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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