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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Journey around the home in 60 Days
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Journey around the home in 60 Days

Journey around the home in 60 Days

director: David Schwartz, Vlad Petri, Teona Galgotiu, Laura Pop, Andra Tarara, Alina Manolache, Alexandru Solomon
original title: Călătorie în jurul casei în 60 de zile
country: Romania
year: 2020
running time: 83 min.

synopsis

The sheer range of Romanian films created as a result of this spring's lockdown has shown us how we can cope with the crisis. A lyrical montage of old footage set within the context of isolation alongside a video art compilation from public cameras around the world evokes feelings of melancholia, whilst a puppet fairytale criticises the establishment and the capitalist machine in a time of crisis. The film is comprised of personal archives reminiscent of a deceased grandmother and functions as both an impressible testimony and an excursion into Romanian history. This mix of genres is accompanied with playful animation and a sci-fi film about an alien’s visit to Earth during the coronavirus crisis.

 

„The deserted streets look alike one evening in Sokhumi, in Abkhazia, and one afternoon in Buchurest, during the lockdown.“ from Journey Around the Home in 60 Days.

 

biography

Alina Manolache (1990) is a Romanian director, writer and producer of documentary films. Her films were screened at festivals Visions du Réel and IDFA.
 
Alexandru Solomon (1966) is one of the leading political film-makers from Eastern Europe on the international documentary scene. Alexandru is teaching at the University of Arts in Bucharest and is the president of the One World Romania Association.
 
Laura Pop is an award-winning visual storyteller from Sibiu, Romania. She worked on various animation projects, in both film and theatre. 
 
Andra Tarara (1994) is a Romanian documentary filmmaker and artist. She is a UNATC graduate in Film and Television and a Visual Anthropology from SNSPA in Bucharest.
 
David Schwartz (1985) is a theatre director by training, a cultural worker involved in several politically engaged theatre, film and visual arts projects. He is the coordinator of the Political Theatre Platform in Bucharest. 
 
Vlad Petri (1979) is a director, producer and cinematographer based in Bucharest, Romania. 
His first feature documentary Where are you Bucharest? (2014) won the Best Debut at the Romanian Annual Cinema Awards in 2015.
 
Teona Galgoțiu (1998) has been organising the Super IFF and the related film and poetry workshops since 2014 and is currently studying the MA in Film Directing at UNATC in Bucharest. 

more about film

director: David Schwartz, Vlad Petri, Teona Galgotiu, Laura Pop, Andra Tarara, Alina Manolache, Alexandru Solomon
producer: Andrei Tănăsescu
script: Alexandru Solomon, Alina Manolache, Andra Tarara, Laura Pop, Teona Galgotiu, Vlad Petri, David Schwartz
photography: Laurențiu Răducanu, Radu Gorgos, Andrei Butică, Alexandru Solomon
editing: Alina Manolache, Alexandru Solomon, Andra Tarara, David Schwartz, Vlad Petri, Teona Galgoțiu
music: The Greener’s Sound Choir Hong Kong, Evgeny Bardyuzha, Sexo Y Fantasia
sound: Andrei Boanță

other films in the section

365 days, also known as a Year
Day after day, images of film life in the author's collage glued together from fragments of feature films flow at a frame rate in which the date of the day appears in various forms. The original jigsaw puzzle shows what one year of diverse film footage might look like. The selection of scenes by calendar key is an interesting probe into the history of cinematography in different countries, a showcase of moods and diverse styles of film narration. The link between the selected scenes is a certain urgency connected with the realization of a specific date, whether such a date denotes a historical milestone or a simple act of brushing one’s teeth. „365 Days' can be perceived simply as a recycled fiction story. As a video essay it discovers meaning of calendar dates for cinema and invites to think about life, memory and time.“ D. Bondarchuk 

365 days, also known as a Year

Dmytro Bondarchuk
Ukraine / 2019 / 99 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
Ocean
The director and protagonist in one sets sail with her boyfriend on a cargo ship to Hawaii. The goal of their journey is to scatter the ashes of their friend at sea. Using primarily static scenes, this intuitive film presents a highly personal pilgrimage, during which the off-screen commentary touches on language, death and friendship. The result is a light contemplative journal that sails along the tumbling ocean waves and with the lazy passing of time mixes contemplations about Hugh Pratt, releasing weather balloons and thoughts about death. DETAIL:"It’s strange when you meet someone like that, to help him die."

Ocean

Tamara Drakulic
Serbia / 2014 / 70 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Latvian Coyote
The Latvian-Russian border may seem like just an area of endless swampy forests and villages filled with dilapidated buildings and no people. But this inhospitable place also happens to be a destination for refugees from various countries heading through Eastern Europe, as it not only represents the end of their painful journey but also the pathway into the Schengen Zone and open borders. Long-term unemployment and an influx of immigrants have creative a new job opportunity for smugglers known as “coyotes”, who risk their own freedom to help others find freedom for a small reward. This observational documentary shot over the course of three years follows smugglers, refugees, and law enforcement: three sides of a hopeless socio-economic triangle.     “My goal was to show a border portrait of the border. It seems to me that there is a tunnel — a 2-kilometre-wide tunnel called the "border zone." And in that tunnel you can very well see how the world is changing, how globalisation is happening.” I. Zviedris    Q&A with Ivars Zviedris:  
personal program

Latvian Coyote

Ivars Zviedris
Latvia / 2020 / 90 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
The Gypsy Vote
Officially, Slovakia’s Roma make up 1.7 % of the population; unofficially, this figure is 10 %. They have zero political representation. In the 2009 elections, the uncrowned leader of the country’s Roma, Vlado Sandrei, decide to run for parliament in order to defend this minority’s rights at the highest political level. A tragicomic look at his electoral adventure contrasts his chaotic family life with pragmatic political coaching and the pre-election tour that was supposed to change the number of Roma in Slovak politics.  

The Gypsy Vote

Jaro Vojtek
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2012 / 72 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
A Two Way Mirror
This poetic documentary presents one woman’s journey towards finding self-confidence, inner peace, and harmony. The filmmaker returns to Croatia’s Lika region, where her family comes from. In the bosom of nature, she tries to come to terms with the losses she has suffered in her life, her illness, and her fear of the future. The film is structured into six parts (prologue, spring, summer, autumn, winter, epilogue), each linked to a different stage of human life. It is a very open and intimate confession, framed in a mosaic of memories and experiences, thoughts and feelings. The film is also therapeutic, helping the filmmaker find the strength to fight. The film received the Croatian Oktavijan Award for Best Documentary Film. “Every fear comes with the reason. To cure my fears I merged secret patterns and knowledge of my family with the cycles of nature. Through this collision I revealed what is the human in beasts and the beastly in humans.” Katarina Zrinka Matijević Veličan

A Two Way Mirror

Katarina Zrinka Matijević
Croatia / 2016 / 42 min.
section: Between the Seas
European Premiere
People Pebble
Stones form the landscape, they crunch underfoot as we walk, and children use them in their games. In this experimental film by the directing duo of Darakchiev and Gamot, the fascination with one particular object reaches its peak. The associative images, brought together by the lens of a 16mm camera, create a loosely related series of stream-of-consciousness ideas: Monumental shots of the cliffs of Dover, stone houses, people walking on a stone beach, and a metronome in the shape of a hammer. Ordinary images accompanied by cacophonous sounds and excerpts from unrelated interviews create new associations among familiar aspects of human existence. International Premiere shared with DocLisboa "People Pebble figuratively associates two disparate patrimonial identities, inciting a new dialogue through and beyond the traces of the human hand, all encompassed by the impermanence of nature." J. Darakchiev, P. Gamot

People Pebble

Perrine Gamot, Jivko Darakchiev
United Kingdom, France / 2017 / 18 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
The Blockade
The 2009 student strike at Zagreb University had several clear objectives – the struggle against the commercialisation of higher education, against tuitions, and for government subsidies. Soon, it spread throughout Croatia. This study of one blockade takes a look at democracy without a vertical hierarchy, its utopian spirit, and its fragile environment. As usual, power objectives and political roles win out over the students’ utopian visions. A film as a manifesto of autonomy, ideals, the seeds of democracy in practice, and history repeating itself.  

The Blockade

Igor Bezinović
Croatia / 2012 / 93 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Evaporating Borders
Ethnically divided Cyprus is one entry point for those seeking asylum in “Fortress Europe”. In five acts, this film essay offers a subjective look, supported by sociological data, at the phenomenon of immigration as a lived experience. The director, herself a political immigrant, reflects upon the broader contexts of the competing social forces that shape contemporary Europe’s immigration policy, the liberal desire to take in political refugees, and society’s unwillingness to accept them. For the refugees themselves, the journey to freedom often ends by falling into an abyss of hopelessness and despair.DETAIL:“With strange paranoia, we shield ourselves from these humans who exile themselves for promises of rich countries. The world is not interested in their tides of humanity. Instead we welcome a new category of criminal: the migrant.”

Evaporating Borders

Iva Radivojević
United States / 2014 / 73 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Earth
In this documentary by Victor Asliuk, the past comes to light as a barren, dead, difficult to comprehend artifact – specifically, as a human skeleton dug out of the earth by a group of volunteers looking for the bodies of missing Russian soldiers from the Second World War. The film intersperses the immediate reactions of the remains’ discoverers with black-and-white archival footage of soldiers that in the end reveal as little as the body.  

Earth

Victor Asliuk
Belarus / 2012 / 30 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
noimage
FilmBOUT shows the journey of an old and lonely man who embodies Georgia’s past and present. The former wrestler, who once beat seven opponents in less than a minute, is a reminder of past fame, a patriotic symbol, for wrestling is Georgia’s national sport. Today, he is going to visit his mother’s grave, and he yearns to meet the woman he loved and lost 50 years ago.

Ramin

Audrius Stonys
Georgia, Latvia / 2011 / 58 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
The Forest
At the center of this Romanian-Serbian co-production is the amazing story of an art historian in search of a painting that Romania’s prime minister gave to Josip Broz Tito in 1947. The painting of a forest with fallen leaves had been made by a renowned Romanian artist in the 19th century – and the forest is where Tito spent World War II as a partisan fighter. Romanian-Yugoslav relations under the Soviet bloc followed the same absurd path as the search for a reason for this gift. A playful cinematic study dedicated to a detail in the painting while exploring a great and serious historical subject.DETAIL:“Over night, the new friendship with comrade Tito fell. Following his disputes with Stalin, all the communist bloc was forced to proclaim Tito the worst enemy of communism. The newspapers were filled with caricatures...”

The Forest

Siniša Dragin
Romania, Serbia / 2014 / 73 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
The End and the Means
Massage, doing the laundry, grazing water buffalo, snake charmers, street jugglers and dentists, music and dance lessons. Through his humble contemplation on various expressions of people’s devotion to their work, Paweł Wojtasik shows the web of human activities that each have their fixed place within India’s caste society. Work is not a path out of poverty or towards wealth, but a form of Hindu meditation on the roots of human activity and established working techniques and rituals. Man is a machine controlled by a higher power. This observational documentary, filmed primarily in India’s oldest city, Varanasi, focuses on the sacred Ganges River as a source of all human endeavours. „I wanted to investigate the Indian idea that work can lead to liberation rather than alienation. As a film worker myself, I learned from the people I filmed – to be present with the whole body and mind.“ P. Wojtasik

The End and the Means

Pawel Wojtasik
United States, India, France / 2018 / 99 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
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