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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Time is
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Time is
Time is
Time is

Time is

director: Zaur Kourazov
original title: Han yu
country: Belgium, Russia
year: 2020
running time: 20 min.

synopsis

The freezing environment of a depopulated Chechen village during the harsh winter months is in stark contrast to the warmth of a traditional, Slavic, country home where a mother lives with her daughter and tabby cat. Everyday activities and simple rituals like embroidering, watching television, or shelling sunflower seeds can easily be disrupted by the unexpected arrival of a former resident who returns to her native village after a long period of absence. This aesthetically pleasing and captivating film calmly introduces the viewer to the simple life of Chechen peasants, acting as a melancholic suspension of modern, hectic times that have hardly affected the protagonists in the film.

 

“In my camerawork, I like to play with light and silhouettes. This comes from the time when I was still living in Chechnya. In the evenings, we had to turn off all the lights to avoid snipers and bombings. As army trucks passed by, their headlamps shined against the walls, forming intriguing shadows.” Z. Kourazov, Interview 2018

 

Q&A with Zaur Kourazov:

 

biography

When he was just five years old, Zaur Kourazov left Chechnya with his family to avoid the war and fled to Belgium, where he now lives and works today. He studies filmmaking and audiovisual art at the Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts. As an artist, he is particularly interested in memory, cultural identity, and humanitarian disasters related to the refugee crisis.

more about film

director: Zaur Kourazov
cast: Marga Abdulaeva, Acet Abdulaeva
producer: Zaur Kourazov

other films in the section

Daily manure
Pigeons are sitting down on the roof of a dilapidated farmhouse; a truck is dumping old bread on a pile; cattle is running around among the cars at the scrapyard; goats are grazing in the vicinity of large shipping containers... The leitmotif of the documentary is the fact that unprocessed foods are used as fertilizers and feed material for livestock, and the film shows one of the forms of agriculture in the 21st century in a series silent prose scenes. The slow pace and cyclic variation of the same stylistic parameters evokes the poetics of decline and decomposition. “In the course of four seasons, I'verecorded a place where our overproduction ends up. A cemetery where leftovers devour the leftovers.  The never ending cycle of crestion and demise.” N. Krutilová

Daily manure

Nikola Krutilová
Czech Republic / 2019 / 24 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Life could be so beautiful
During the 1940s, Polish writer Andrzej Bobkowski headed from the south of France to occupied Paris, describing everything he saw in diaries in which his hundreds of kilometers of cycling were transformed into a deep reflection on wartime Europe. Decades later, Angelika and Filip retraced his route and filmed everything along the way. During the exploration of Bobkowski’s path through the landscape and in culture, a conflict arises on the interpretation of the author’s diaries, with the pair’s creative debate leading to a reflection on their own relationship. In this documentary video diary and from the literary work, a reflection on modern life, work, and love arises.“Relationship as eternal circle around eternally the same things. No matter how many times you discuss, you will never fully understand each other. But what holds you together?” A. Herta, F. Jacobson

Life could be so beautiful

Filip Jacobson, Angelika Herta
Poland, Germany / 2019 / 62 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Mother. Gabriele. Television.
Some consider television to be just a marginal entertainment, but for others it’s an essential part of everyday life. The film follows two friends - social actresses - who entertain themselves by participating in various TV shows. Their lives seem very empty, and they can only find happiness in the TV shows. 

Mother. Gabriele. Television.

Lucia Kašová
Slovakia / 2018 / 28 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
There Will Be More Springs to Come
On average, the population of Lithuania is twice as poor as it was ten years ago. A contemplative film comprises scenes of a girl harvesting and selling strawberries during five years of economic and political changes in Lithuania. The film is about the circle of life and the market, and the influence of national economics on human existence.

There Will Be More Springs to Come

Neringa Starkevičiūtė
Lithuania / 2018 / 27 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Jochen
A sequence of bucolic black-and-white fragments of the southern Tuscan countryside opens a portrait of a peaceful daily routine, of reconciled old age spent in a sun-drenched idyll. Without a hint of emotion, Jochen, aged seventy, outlines the unsettled life of a retired drug smuggler, the life of a person with two stories – one as an outlaw, the second as the respectable head of a family. The account starts with the first days of the hippy movement and psychedelia in Germany, covers the profitable illegal subsistence associated with marijuana, opium and heroin, and ends with a transitory existence in the Tuscan paradise. It is a monotonous narrative of an uncommon life intertwined with the motif of personal freedom as symbolized by a ride on an unsaddled horse.   Q&A with Daniel Fill:  
personal program

Jochen

Daniel Fill
Austria / 2020 / 47 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Boundaries
The idea and story of the film begins on a train: the recording of a message on a cell phone suddenly stops after the crossing of the state border. The real situation initiates a movement to the realm of art: the short message becomes a documentary letter, the director’s poetic meditation on the importance and ubiquity of borders – in geography, history, and cinematography. Listening to the persistent humming sound, we follow the author on her existential journey through four cities consisting of real images and footage taken by the director’s father 25 years ago that always bring us to some visible or invisible border. “In the film school I was assigned to make a video essay on ‚Boundaries in film‘ topic. I started to think of where cinema ‚ends‘ but instead I realized I should first learn where is the end of myself.” Y. Shatun     

Boundaries

Yuliya Shatun
Belarus / 2019 / 29 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Windows
A man who finds it difficult to stay in one place for too long. He has moved 16 times over the past seven years, and he is moving now. As he packs his things, he observes his neighbours through the window, filming them so that he won’t forget them. The film thus consists of footage of windows in which people are moving, with the voiceover of a hidden observer. 

Windows

Akvilė Žilionytė
Lithuania / 2018 / 21 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Marie
The director’s purely observational camera enters the home of a family living in a village in the Danube Delta, where the birth of another girl arouses more tension stemming from the uneasy life of the extended family. In her short film, the director thematises a conflict between generations of three women reliant on each other, while Maria, a ten-year-old girl who has to take care of her younger sisters, comes into focus. In the timelessness of traditional rural relationships, shown in a slow pace of everyday life, Maria’s childlike innocence is exposed to harsh orders of her grandmother who requires respect and proper conduct.“What drove me to Iordana was curiosity. So I allowed myself to be surprised by their world, in order to be able to deconstruct their reality.” L. Popa

Marie

Letiția Popa
Romania / 2018 / 32 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Ars Moriendi - The Art of Living
A sensitive film portrait tells the life story of 93-year-old Rosemarie Aschenbach, revealing the world of her thoughts. After a number of life setbacks, she was able to free herself and is now writing her dissertation in philosophy. The ordinariness of life contrasts with the richness of her opinions on life and death.

Ars Moriendi - The Art of Living

Kristina Schranz
Germany, Austria / 2018 / 30 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
East European Premiere
Last Knights of the Right Side
Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny – the National Radical Camp – ONR. The last knights defending the right in Poland. An extremist neo-Nazi group defending the values of nationalism and true faith. This focused collection of scenes showing the executive apparatus of power honestly and consistently uses trust and opportunities to take a look behind the scenes at the organization of marches, meetings with citizens, and even volunteer efforts to collect clothing for the elderly. In precisely composed shots, the atrocious leap from the Warsaw Uprising to genocide, to a modern day Kristallnacht, is interwoven with the intimate confessions of the protagonists. Snapshots from the life of these mercenaries of hate reveal the ideology of the right-wing extremism that has taken control of public space in Poland.You can watch the director’s introduction HERE.Q&A with the director Michał Edelman:
personal program

Last Knights of the Right Side

Michał Edelman
Poland / 2020 / 67 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Hopschotch
Katya and Matvei live together in the Belarusian countryside. Then something happens that causes them to reassess their relationship. In this directorial debut – a melancholic study of the dynamic between two lovers – the intense sense of tension between the two protagonists contrasts with the calm co-existence of two friends who have come to visit. 

Hopschotch

Dasha Demura
Belarus, Russia / 2018 / 54 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
We are epicenters of the earthquake
The earth is scorched; trees are dying; species are becoming extinct; rivers are drying up. Human interventions have thrown the ecosystem off balance. The irreversible changes will have a devastating impact. A trip of a young urban couple to the country provides a base for a spontaneous poetic contemplation on dried-up landscape and mankind's environmental grief. Nature has ceased to be a relaxing place. Looking at nature can cause anguish. In this film about contradictions of ecological awareness, the ability to articulate such grief, be it through a prosaic statement or poem, meets the inability to let go off one's thoughts and feelings, to think outside the box and act on it.  
personal program

We are epicenters of the earthquake

Tomáš Hlaváček
Czech Republic / 2020 / 40 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
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