28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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director: Jan Bušta
original title: á-B-C-D-é-F-G-H-CH-í-JONESTOWN
country: Czech Republic
year: 2022
running time: 77 min.


A children's film about the largest mass suicide of the 20th century reconstructs the 1978 event. The Reverend Jim Jones forced nearly a thousand followers of his People's Temple sect to drink poison in the settlement of Jonestown, Guyana, South America. A third of them were children. Jan Bušta gives sadists, voyeurs, and necrophiliacs one minute to leave the cinema. His self-reflective documentary, which is the result of ten years of time-lapse filming, does not depict dramatic scenes. To the sound of an audio recording from that fateful day, we see a collage of child ghosts preaching about escaping the corruption of the world.

“In his debut film, Jan Bušta, ‘in a live broadcast’ brings us an electrifying experience of demagogy and manipulation. a-B-C-D-e-F-G-H-i-JONESTOWN is also a cinephile tribute to film experiment milestones, ‘demagogically manipulating’ with all elements of film narration and audience’s expectations.”

Source: https://www.filmcenter.cz/files/files/1645626325_czech-documentaries-2021-2022.pdf


Jan Bušta (* 1980) studied feature film directing at FAMU under Jan Němec. Since 2010 he has been creating audiovisual campaigns for Czech and foreign films. At the 2016 Ji.hlava IDFF, he sat on the jury of the Czech Joy section. He made the documentary Televise bude! (Television Will Be!, 2014) for Czech Television. a-B-C-D-e-F-G-H-i-JONESTOWN is his feature debut.

more about film

director: Jan Bušta
cast: Jakub Kanhäuser
producer: Radim Procházka
script: Jan Bušta
photography: Michal Černý, Jan Kundera
editing: Šimon Špidla
music: The Delfonics
sound design: Jan Balcar
art director: Petra Vlachynská, Jan Cechl
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas