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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Wonderful Years
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The Wonderful Years
The Wonderful Years
The Wonderful Years

The Wonderful Years

director: Galina Yarmanova, Svitlana Shymko
original title: Shchaslyvi Roky
country: Ukraine
year: 2018
running time: 9 min.

synopsis

During the Soviet era, Ukraine was a difficult place for members of the LGBT community, and even today the country remains less than welcoming to sexual minorities. Working with archival interviews of women from the past thirteen years, the film brings together two eras and thus contributes to a discussion of today’s situation.

biography

Independent Ukrainian filmmaker Svitlana Shymko (1986) focuses on social and political issues. After studying documentary film through the DOC NOMADS programme, she gained attention thanks to her debut The Doctor Leaves Last (2014).
Her latest documentary film The Wonderful Years has been a collaboration with Guliana Yarmanova (1985), a gender theoretician.

more about film

director: Galina Yarmanova, Svitlana Shymko
producer: Olha Reiter, Ella Shtyka
script: Galina Yarmanova, Svitlana Shymko
editing: Sviltana Shymko
sound: Vladyslav Sirenko

other films in the section

Ma
This film is the video diary of a Ukrainian mother from Mariupol, a city close to the turbulent Donetsk Region. A series of several-minute long records of commonplace views from a window, following tracks in the snow, and strolls in the surroundings form a loving visual message for her daughter in Kyiv.

Ma

Maria Stoianova
Ukraine / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
A Partial History of the Natural World, 1965
A meditative exploration of the violent struggle for independence in southeast Asia is framed by excerpts from Sylvia Plath’s poem “Tulips”. The central theme is combined in a double exposure with scenes of butterfly metamorphosis. The entire meditation on the year 1965 is accompanied by Bartók’s Solo for Violin 3.DETAIL:As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. The Tulips, Sylvia Plath

A Partial History of the Natural World, 1965

Sasha Waters Freyer
United States, Vietnam / 2014 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Beatle Jew
The film is a journey in search of personal identity. It reveals a history stretching from Spain all the way to the Czech village of Batelov, whose Wild West heroes have found eternal rest at the local Jewish cemetery. The film was selected for the closure of XV Festival de Cinema Jueu de Barcelona and screened at the XVII Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. No-one kneads us again out of earth and clay, no one conjures our dust. No-one. Praised be your name, No-one. For your sake we shall flower. Towards you. A Nothing we were, are, shall remain, flowering: the Nothing-, the No-one’s-rose.

Beatle Jew

Federico Szarfer, Daniel Wagensberg
Spain, Czech Republic / 2012 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
The Little One
An unusual animated documentary of the experiences of young Vietnamese who have spent their entire lives in the Czech Republic, living between two cultures. The drawn animation style allows the filmmaker to give the film a natural emotionality, intimacy and poetic stylization.

The Little One

Diana Cam Van Nguyen
Czech Republic / 2017 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
I Was Here
Director Zaina Erhaim has decided to explore her Syrian hometown of Idlib, which is controlled by anti-regime forces. Original footage captures familiar neighborhoods in ruins, where Erhaim leaves what is perhaps the last human footprint. This secretly-filmed documentary presents a visual experience of the loss of home and of meeting loved ones in a new reality.

I Was Here

Zaina Erhaim
Syria / 2017 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Notes on the Shore
This film about the life of Cubans without a roof over their heads shows how they go about their everyday activities: preparing food, discussing politics, singing songs, reading old texts by Fidel Castro, and sleeping off a hangover. Fourteen minutes of detailed observation of people overlooked by others. 

Notes on the Shore

Luis Alejandro Yero
Cuba / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Aus dem Auge
By a spray-painted window at the end of a seemingly endless, devastated hallway, begins a captivating, contemplative, minimalist metaphor for the lost time of glory of the Prora seaside resort – the longest and most bizarre compound of recreational buildings in the world. “Kraft durch Freude” – an affordable holiday for 20,000 German workers, filled with Nazi propaganda. Enclosed by the hallway, you walk backwards through time, accompanied by your voice, a recapitulating narration, words dusting off a personal history. The endless emptiness of the space is intertwined with the silence in the spaces between words. Flaking plaster, broken windows. Is that the sound of waves outside?…

Aus dem Auge

Matthias Zuder
Germany, Austria / 2013 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Idle by the Sea
This experimental film shows natural phenomena in their raw form. Views of the sea are a multifaceted metaphor for birth, loss, madness, and death. Archetypal sequences accompanied by a cacophony of sound blend with the filmmaker’s intimate shots. The mysteries of life are presented in nineteen minutes.

Idle by the Sea

Kinda Hassan
Lebanon, Egypt / 2017 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Summer
Juan Medina’s photograph from 2006 shows a man crawling along a Mediterranean beach shortly after being washed ashore. The film further develops the scene, loosely inspired by the moment captured in the picture. Like frozen puppets, the people remain unaware of their callousness towards someone who is taking his first steps towards a better life.

Summer

Ronny Trocker
France, Belgium / 2016 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Central Station Sofia
The biggest train station in the Balkans was built during the peak of the socialist era, but today is a place that many people try to avoid. This surreal meditation showing the wanderings of a conifer, an empty hotel, a shuttered café and snippets from the lives of the station’s inhabitants provides a portrait of the current state of an entire country. Birds fight over a piece of bread. A radio announcement. Nobody at the hotel, a bored receptionist, disgruntled rail workers forbidden from watching television – for even in the half-life of decay there must be a clear sense of order.

Central Station Sofia

Alberto Iordanov
Bulgaria, United Kingdom / 2013 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Interiors & Exteriors
The filmmaker tracks one aspect of life in a diverse Muslim community: prayer. This standard daily activity may take place even in the hustle and bustle of a busy street. This single-take short documentary focuses on people as they walk in front of the camera and uses details to classify them into different castes.

Interiors & Exteriors

Ashique Mostafa
Bangladesh / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Pillow and Blanket
This conceptual work reconstructs the memories of a hotel room in the so-called red-light district in the city of Makati in the Philippines. The objects which dominate the author's perspective are pillows and blankets. However, extreme close-ups reveal other objects in the room and what is behind them.
personal program

Pillow and Blanket

Jan Philippe Carpio
Philippines / 2019 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
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