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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Central Bus Station
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Central Bus Station
Central Bus Station
Central Bus Station
Central Bus Station

Central Bus Station

director: Tomáš Elšík
original title: Central Bus Station
country: Czech Republic
year: 2018
running time: 75 min.

synopsis

Only recently, Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station was still the largest in the world. But this oversized space only serves more than its original purpose to bring in masses of people who, confused by its complicated interior design, succumb to shopping fever. Over time this concrete monster, which won’t be easy to tear down, has become a temporary refuge for people on the margins of society – refugees, criminals, prostitutes. Like its main protagonist, the tourist guide Yonatan, the film’s director is fascinated by one of the wonders of the world of redundancy and the microcosm of the people who live here.

“To me, the Central Bus Station is not only a strange place, but also a place where everyone can find a kind of home.” T. Elšík

biography

Tomáš Elšík (1986) originally graduated from FAMO in Písek and then studied editing at FAMU. His medium-length documentary Message from Dement (2012) about the punk and anti-fascist scene in São Paulo won an award at FAMUfest. He has also worked as an editor on several film and television projects, including director Kristina Nedvědová’s upcoming film Snowing!

more about film

director: Tomáš Elšík
producer: Jitka Kotrlová, Ondřej Šejnoha, Petr Novák, Michal Mocňák
script: Tomáš Elšík
photography: Ondřej Belica, Tomáš Elšík
editing: Mariana Kozáková
sound: Dominik Dolejší

other films in the section

My Latest 150.000 Cigarettes
The struggle with the tobacco industry, with the help of infotainment and a video journal, authenticity and stylization. Armed with the facts and dressed up as a giant cigarette, the filmmaker heads out into public, to the gates of tobacco companies, and among politicians. Low comedy and the withdrawal mission of a heavy smoker, all with a clear antihero. Day 2. “All I can do is sleep or get drunk and fall asleep… God, how I want a smoke!” The director/main protagonist speaks with the shaky voice of an addict in detox. The facts speak clearly: “Cigarettes kill more quickly than weapons.”

My Latest 150.000 Cigarettes

Ivo Bystřičan
Czech Republic / 2013 / 52 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Czech Journal: The Limits of Work
Journalist Saša Uhlová spent six months exploring working conditions at the worst-paid jobs in the Czech Republic. She spent several weeks in a hospital washroom, at a poultry plant, behind a cash register and at a waste sorting facility. Her experience formed the basis for a very personal series of reports about people working invisible jobs under shocking conditions, published on the A2larm.cz website. Apolena Rychlíková has turned these articles into a documentary film consisting of scenes shot at Uhlová’s home and of video footage taken at her places of work, accompanied by Uhlová’s read commentary.“I spent several months close to my protagonist, who never once placed herself above those whose lives she has tried to show us. Perhaps this film of our era will, with time, reach even those whom it affects.” A. Rychlíková

Czech Journal: The Limits of Work

Apolena Rychlíková
Czech Republic / 2017 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Burning
An intimate portrait of a director who almost involuntarily devoted her life to film, and who was willing to sacrifice three marriages and motherhood to the cult filmmaking. The film portrays Drahomíra Vihanová as a hard-headed shaman of images who shares her religion from its early days of being damned by the regime for Zabitá neděle (Squandered Sunday, 1969) to the public execution of Zpráva o putování studentů Petra a Jakuba (The Pilgrimage of Students Peter and Jacob, 2002). An existential essay that, in contradictions and paradoxes, fluctuates between documentary and acted film, between adoration, forgetting, and cats.

Burning

Miroslav Janek
Czech Republic / 2012 / 57 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Feral
Charlie Soukup is a Czech underground songwriter and Charter 77 signatory. He emigrated in the early 1980s, and has spent the last several decades living on his own in the Australian outback as a hermit and Buddhist. Documentary filmmaker Jiří Holba sought Soukup out on his large property in the bush, where he builds secret shelters and lives away from civilization. The film, which Holba shot entirely alone on location, presents spontaneous conversations and situations that fully capture Soukup’s distinctive charisma. The film’s series of monologues are a kind of stream of thoughts that are part mad rambling and part insightful observations on life. “I’m interested in a film as a poem, a touch of life, a wave of a magic wand, a sudden burst of a spark in the infinite darkness, a solution of a puzzle. No beginning, no end, everything in a compact space. And love.” J. Holba

Feral

Jiří Holba
Czech Republic / 2018 / 72 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Arms ready
Firearms are a multifaceted phenomenon in contemporary society. For some they are a symbol of power, for others they represent certainty, and for others still they are a source of danger. Barbora Chalupová interviews gun owners and people interested in a gun permit, and explores the availability (both legally and illegally) of firearms in the Czech Republic. Her film makes partial use of the internet as an unconventional narrative tool, but is otherwise a typical interview-style documentary. The filmmaker also explores legal gray areas related to homemade weapons.“You see, it’s more about finding out why to have one or not have one. A gun, I mean. Legal… Illegal… But maybe I am just protecting myself with this pilfered political manifesto, or creating an alibi for myself.“

Arms ready

Barbora Chalupová
Czech Republic / 2016 / 39 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
The Prison of Art
“Most prisoners like boxes.” The constrained nature of prisons opens up an infinitude of fantasies and free artistic expression. Environment determines means of expression. A project of confrontation and dialogue with artists from the outside shows radical diff erences and a conspiratory divergence from social norms. This essay on imaginary and physical freedom introduces us to the extreme thoughts of our own boundaries and limitations.  

The Prison of Art

Radovan Síbrt
Czech Republic / 2012 / 87 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
King Does Nothing
“I don’t do anything on Sundays”, improvises Petr Král on the winners’ platform of a deserted velodrome. A fluid portrait of a poet in motion between dreaming and presence, between Paris and Prague, between a velodrome and eternity. This situational documentary offers a sketch of an active and inspirational person who continues to base his art on wonder as the core of a philosophical debate with the world, man, and dreams. Doing nothing: the ability to stop, wonder, and enjoy; elitism as the ability to talk with people and inspire them.

King Does Nothing

Jan Gogola ml.
Czech Republic / 2012 / 52 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Kings of Šumava
Josef Hasil, nicknamed King of the Bohemian Forest, was a cross-border smuggler between communist Czechoslovakia and the West, and later an agent for the CIC news service. His actions are the central theme of a film created using narrative animation resembling modern film noir, conversations with witnesses, and shots of the beauty of the mysterious Bohemian forests. In places, the documentary also takes on the qualities of a Hollywood action film, which contrasts with the burden of moral decisions of an individual and the relentless power of the totalitarian regime. Almost detective-like investigation is framed by the Bohemian myths and legends that are still told of the man today. "Kings of Šumava poetically explores the duality of hero, villain and reunites former Czech immigrant Vlasta Bukovsky and infamous Czech people smuggler Josef Hasil." K. Kelly
personal program

Kings of Šumava

Kris Kelly
Czech Republic, Ireland / 2019 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Moravia, O Fair Land III.
After centuries of oppression, the spirit of Moravian Slovakia (Slovácko) awakens to the rhythm of folk music and speed metal. A folk costumed zombie horror under the supervision of a modern Adam and Eva from a Czech TV quiz show mixes classical tragedy and ethnographic studies, biblical parable and low-brow genres. Petr Šprincl subverts the sacred myths, satirically revealing the dark foundations of social rituals against a background of folklore motifs. After nationalism and fascism, the subjects of the first two parts of this Moravian Epic, the series continues with variations on the Mrštík brothers’ play Maryša, imbued with Satanism.   „The Trilogy Moravia, Beautiful Land starts with belonging to tribe, folk costume and folklore, continues with the birth of the fascist of Slovácko and his defeat of the devil, and pagan inferno breaks out in the final volume.“ P. Šprincl
personal program

Moravia, O Fair Land III.

Petr Šprincl
Czech Republic / 2019 / 65 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Apparatgeist
The concept of Apparatgeist expresses how mankind’s relationship with technology evolves and how it transforms our social contacts. In a similar fashion to the authors of this theory, James E. Katz and Mark Aakhus, the film’s director has also focused on the current phenomenon of mobile phones. It takes us to an allegorical space of the apparatgeist, a barren, inhospitable place where cell phones act as small windows into different worlds of internet mundanity and bizarreness, and as a reflection of our interaction with a digital device. “How much do we hide behind our smartphones and use them to expose ourselves? To what extent is it possible to imprint ourselves into images composed of ones and zeros?” M.-M. Kochová
personal program

Apparatgeist

Marie-Magdalena Kochová
Czech Republic / 2019 / 11 min.
section: Czech Joy
World 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
Will the World Remember Your Name?
Fetal ultrasound screening. Tourists pointing their mobiles at themselves using selfie sticks. Mannequins in store windows. People walking down the street examining their reflections in glass storefronts. Photographing models for 3D printers. A series of commonplace scenes shows us the various forms of images and depiction with which we surround ourselves, which we use to observe ourselves, understand ourselves, and also form and archive ourselves. At the same time, the question asked in the film title points out how our attention is shifting from words to images. The issue is no longer whether the world will remember our name, but whether we can imprint our image into its memory. “In the main role: The ego.” M.-M. Kochová

Will the World Remember Your Name?

Marie-Magdalena Kochová
Czech Republic / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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