28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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director: Jelena Jureša
original title: Aphasia
country: Belgium
year: 2019
running time: 80 min.


The brutal Belgian colonial policy, the Austrian oppression of the Balkans, and ethnic conflicts after the breakup of Yugoslavia – these seemingly unrelated historical episodes create one line of the documentary. In the film, history becomes a kind of speech, which often leads to the inability to formulate a complete sentence in the statements of a person suffering from loss of speech or speech disorder. In three acts, the film looks for words to describe and understand the existence of the museum of the Belgian colonial history, the hovering of Kurt Waldheim before the commission investigating his involvement in SS, and the infamous photograph of the Belgrade’s most popular DJ kicking the head of a dead woman.

“Slavenka Drakulic once wrote that if we believe that the perpetrators are monsters it is because we would like to separate ‘us’ from ‘them’. Aphasia came as a result of questioning that distance.” J. Juresa


Jelena Juresa (1974) was born in Novi Sad in the former Yugoslavia; now she lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. In her photographs, videos and texts, she deals with the issues of identity and memory in politics in. Her work is often related to history, using archival materials contrasted with personal memories and official political narratives.

more about film

director: Jelena Jureša
cast: Barbara Matejčić, Ivana Jozić, Andrew Wise
producer: Quaghebeur Rolf
script: Asa Mendelsohn, Jelena Jureša
photography: Jelena Jureša
editing: Jelena Jureša
music: Sinkauz Alen, Sinkauz Nenad
sound: Slobodan Bajić
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas