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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Bo Hai
Bo Hai
Bo Hai
Bo Hai

Bo Hai

director: Dužan Duong
original title: Bo Hai
country: Czech Republic
year: 2017
running time: 26 min.

synopsis

In his new work of docufiction, Vietnamese-born Czech director Dužan Duong continues to explore the life of the Czech Republic’s Vietnamese community. Bo Hai takes an intimate look at a young man who helps out at his father’s mini-market. By showing everyday situations, the films introduces us to the life of young Vietnamese who have lived most of their life in the Czech Republic and are losing touch with the culture of their parents but at the same time are prevented from becoming fully-fledged members of Czech society. Filmed primarily using longer static shots in real-life settings, Bo Hai recalls the approach of contemporary cinematic realists. At the same time, it is also a personal statement about the director’s generation.

“#FilmfromMini-market” D. Duong

biography

Dužan Duong (1991) was born in Hanoi but has lived in the Czech Republic since age four. He got into filmmaking when recording his own dance performances. He previously shot the short docufiction Mat Goc (2014, Ji.hlava IDFF 2014) about his relationship to his native Vietnam, and also worked on Lukáš Kokeš’s V.I.P. / Vietnamese Important People (2013, Ji.hlava IDFF 2013). Bo Hai was made through crowdfunding.

more about film

director: Dužan Duong
cast: Viet Anh Duong, Hai Van Duong, Tomáš Lipský, Thi Minh Nguyen, Hana Houbová
producer: Jan Syruček, Petr Kubica
script: Dužan Duong
photography: Adam Mach
editing: MIchal Böhm
sound: Adam Bláha

other films in the section

Long Live Hunting!
Three real hunters lure viewers on an exotic safari, on their search for trophies, and to their deer stands in the woods. With a brisk polka tempo, the film presents various hunting techniques and the protagonists’ varied personal relationships to hunting. The filmmaker sets out after the scent of animals in the greenery, and with hyperbole and exaggerated poeticism shows the entire hunting process from luring the animals to their gutting and final ingestion. This concisely constructed documentary essay takes aim at Czech hunting, but to the hunters it doesn’t make much difference. DETAIL: “Today’s city people are so spoiled by their time. They could be traumatized by it internally, but death has always been an integral part of everyday activities and everyday life. To deny the phenomenon of death means creating an artificial view of life. It’s not killing – it’s the deliberate ending of a life.”

Long Live Hunting!

Jaroslav Kratochvíl
Czech Republic / 2014 / 68 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Czechs against Czechs
This cinematic reportage with elements of a personal journal explores xenophobia in Czech society and anti-Nazi activists, but also the filmmaker’s personal experience from living among in an socially excluded Romani neighborhood. Most of the footage was shot by the director using his own camera, and the immediacy of the images is further accentuated by voiceover observations and commentary. In just a few scenes, he adds music for dramatic affect. With his direct questions, he tries to unmask the racist arguments not only of anti-Roma protestors, but also of many ordinary citizens. DETAIL:“I’d toss a grenade in there.” “In where?” “Among the gypsies. They reproduce like rats.” “They should be killed?” “Yes. You know what Hitler should have done? Leave the Jews and shoot the gypsies. There’s too many of them.”

Czechs against Czechs

Tomáš Kratochvíl
Czech Republic / 2015 / 88 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Tears of Steel: Vladimír Stehlík Meets Lubomír Krystlík
The privatization and bankruptcy of the famous Poldi Kladno steel mill in the 1990s long left its mark on Czech society and the media. The FAMU graduate film returns to the affair many years later from the point of view of its main actors: Poldi Kladno’s CEO Vladimír Stehlík and his personal advisor Lubomír Krystlík. By juxtaposing their remarks with archival television videos, the film provides a humorous look at the ups and downs of two men who contributed extensively to building capitalism in post-1989 Bohemia and who are now learning the art of aging on their meager pensions. DETAIL:“You have to turn it into a show. Otherwise nobody will find it interesting. Also, there is no point in returning to the past. Document it and enough.” “And how should we turn it into a show?” “For instance by taking a picture of Stehlík’s teeth.”

Tears of Steel: Vladimír Stehlík Meets Lubomír Krystlík

Tomáš Potočný
Czech Republic / 2015 / 52 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Love Me If You Can
In other countries, sexual assistance for disabled people is an established concept, but it is only just getting started in the Czech Republic. Documentarian Dagmar Smržová approaches the subject in a style reminiscent of the films of Erika Hníková. She has chosen three handicapped men and one trained sexual assistant, and follows them in everyday situations, casually asking them various questions. The film explores a subject that, although it is a serious social issue, the public has either ignored or finds controversial. Above all, however, she offers a sensitive look at the intimate lives of people living with disabilities.“... we cannot choose whether we are born good looking or not so good looking, strong or weak and that’s why we should reach out and help each other with things one can and the other can’t do – including making love…”

Love Me If You Can

Dagmar Smržová
Czech Republic / 2016 / 63 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Life and Death in Tanvald - director’s cut
The town of Tanvald as a symbol for identifying current society-wide attitudes. The death of a young Roma spurs the filmmakers’ investigation into the incident’s true course of events. The mysteries of the country’s creeping xenophobia provide a key to understanding anti-Roma attitudes. Over the course of a year, we witness the transforming landscape of Czech nationalism and the social tectonics of the racial conflict of a twisted society. The self-analytical look at the schism between the two filmmakers provides a welcome debate on the ethical integrity of the documentary filmmaker. The filmmaker’s approach comes close to desecrating the sanctity of childhood innocence.

Life and Death in Tanvald - director’s cut

Filip Remunda, Vít Klusák
Czech Republic / 2013 / 57 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Dunaj of Consciousness
Members of the Brno alternative rock legend Dunaj (Danube) meet after several years, determined to forget their grievances and disagreements of the past to perform a concert in the Romanian city of Banat, where they still have a strong fan base. On the way there, they take a boat down the Danube River, whose waves and mysterious nature evokes memories of the past among the band members and reflections on their careers, helped out by a meeting with former member Iva Bittová. The poetically infused film reveals the backstage of the band and, accompanied by the captivating tones of Dunaj’s songs, paints a complex portrait of the legendary music group. “Former members of the Dunaj band, now twenty years older, meet to find out they don’t have to do anything. They just want to let something special flourish, something created mainly by their being together. All the original pieces come together to create something compellingly impressive again.” D. Butula

Dunaj of Consciousness

David Butula
Czech Republic / 2019 / 83 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Everything´s Gonna Be Fine
Producer Čestmír Kopecký had originally wanted to make a film about the changing face of Brno, but in the end director Robin Kvapil and co-writer Pavel Šplíchal created something more closely resembling Šplíchal’s ironic blog Prigl. In their “lovingly anarchistic” film, Brno forms the epicentre of a sarcastic look at Czech society. The naive and vacuous communist-era documentary with which Kvapil’s film opens gives way to the reporter’s bitter monologues right in front of the camera. These are intercut with acted sequences featuring Brno’s political elites, artists, and outcasts.“People say that Brno is the only joke that is inhabitable. The entire film follows this logic.” R. Kvapil

Everything´s Gonna Be Fine

Robin Kvapil
Czech Republic / 2017 / 71 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Normal Autistic Film
Children with autism don’t suffer from an incurable disease. They suffer because they are neurodiverse in a world set up for neurotypicals. With that perspective, Miroslav Janek embarks on a series of live meetings with a number of children and young adults who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. He gives them the opportunity to express freely their relationship with the world and with themselves, as well as what sets them apart from “normal”. We find that he’s brought us into the company of fun, fascinating people who often suffer because they are labelled as “disabled”. This excursion into the world of autism redefines the seemingly firm boundaries between “otherness” and normality.“Now let’s talk about Asperger syndrome. What Asperger’s knows how to do. The standard form of Asperger’s syndrome, the milder version, which is what I have, is able to find friends. But the more severe version can’t. He has no friends.”

Normal Autistic Film

Miroslav Janek
Czech Republic / 2016 / 90 min.
section: Czech Joy
The Sound is Innocent
In this documentary essay, the director personally presents the history of electronic and experimental music from the pre-war years to the present day. The film takes place in an almost dream-like space-time that serves both as a recording studio and as a museum of technological artifacts, which allow the filmmaker to take playful grasp of the concept of talking heads. The sonically and visually layered excursion to the beginnings of the efforts to liberate and conceptualize sound is also a debate about the forms, possibilities, and perspectives of the acoustic relations to the world, in which the voices of the past constantly overlap with the sounds of the future. „Music documentaries usually tend to build a monument to a composer, band or subculture… My aim was to treat this topic in an essay-like style, using all available means that film as an audiovisual medium offers.” J. Ožvold

The Sound is Innocent

Johana Ožvold
Czech Republic, France, Slovakia / 2019 / 68 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
On the Water
This documentary essay, containing certain elements of a road movie, traces the journey of several individuals during their trek through the foothills of the Ore Mountains. Its aim is to capture an image of the unstable terrain of the area, which is the result of decades of mining and the subsequent (un)successful reclamation activities. The title may be considered as the literal designation of their river adventure as well as a reference to the changeable nature of the landscape. This film, balancing on a fine line between documentary and fiction, appeals to the viewer’s imagination and lets the landscape itself tell the story of this devastated and later revitalised area of the Northern Bohemia Region.DETAIL:“It is a landscape in the midst of a transformation of sorts. Everything’s changing. There was a chemical factory over there; now it’s gone. The chemical factory over there used to be a meadow. Things change by the second. It has to be recorded.”

On the Water

Martin Ryšavý
Czech Republic / 2015 / 90 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Viva Video, Video Viva
Today, analogue video is attractive primarily thanks to the distinctive aesthetic quality of its pixelated image and raster errors. But for Czech artists who first explored the possibilities offered by video art in the late 1980s, this medium represented a path towards freedom. Through a portrait of her grandfather Radek Pilař, one of the pioneers of Czech video art, the director explores her own legacy of imperative creative fascination. Her film’s main story, i.e., the process of reconstructing the 1989 exhibition Video Day, contrasts this enchantment with life in the final days of the totalitarian regime, which different sharply with the adventures of those who decided to emigrate – whom the filmmaker also visits in order to discover forgotten works, get to know their creators, and re-establish broken ties.  “’The computers, which are here with me, quietly tell me they want me to understand them, to live with them. Because we will live with them. But either they’re devils, or they will be gods.’ Radek Pilař.” A. Komrzý

Viva Video, Video Viva

Adéla Komrzý
Czech Republic / 2018 / 85 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Daniel´s World
Twenty-five year old literary academy student Daniel is dealing with his non-traditional sexual orientation, the perception of which in society is colored by a number of prejudices. He introduces his family, friends, and society to his lot as a homosexual pedophile – and through his creative writing, himself as well. This documentary empathetically captures public and private moments of his confessions. Daniel’s deep self-reflection and emphasis on other than purely sexual values enabled the creators to present the situation of a pedophile completely and humanely. His charm, self-deprecating view, and sense of exaggeration give the film a surprising lightness and wit.DETAIL:“Let’s watch some boys.” “OK, one pedo-anthem, then.”

Daniel´s World

Veronika Lišková
Czech Republic / 2014 / 75 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
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