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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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I Walk
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I Walk

I Walk

director: Jørgen Leth
original title: I Walk
country: Denmark
year: 2019
running time: 90 min.

synopsis

This autobiographical film shot in the form of a diary captures the everyday life and woes of an old man with many successes under his belt and a richly lived past, but whose zest for life is slowly beginning to fade away. Jørgen Leth survived a devastating earthquake in Haiti, but his legs have not served him well since and every step he takes is an arduous task. He travels to Laos with a team of filmmakers and his adult children where he plans a project with help from the local people to capture the pristine nature of the country. During the project’s pre-production phase, he revisits the past to speak about his own life story, taking a poetic approach as he answers the burning question: is it still possible to find beauty and happiness if one is barely able to put on his own shoes?

 

“I think that happiness, or what appears to be happiness, exists in the simple life. What some might view as cheating.” I Walk (00:58:50–00:59:01)

biography

Danish director Jørgen Leth (1937) is a leading figure in experimental documentary cinema. He has worked as a cultural critic and professor at the Danish National Film School in Copenhagen and is the author of a number of poetry collections and non-fiction works. In addition to filmmaking, he enjoys traveling and sports commentating.

more about film

director: Jørgen Leth
producer: Sigrid Dyekjær
photography: Tómas Gislason, Asger Leth
editing: Jacob Thuesen

other films in the section

Sacavém
A documentary portrait of the Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa is a contemporary audiovisual reflection on the meanings that objects, locations and sounds in films carry. The filmography of the director of films such as House of Lava, Bones, In Vanda’s Room, and Colossal Youth is explored using not only his own words and clips from his movie trailers, but also a melancholic atmosphere and experiments with image and sound. Despite occasional glimpses into Costa’s office, he remains an enigmatic personality, which we know only through his work and creative processes. How he thinks, what he feels, and how he lives must be derived from his work.

Sacavém

Júlio Alves
Portugal / 2019 / 65 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Bulletproof
The film opens up the topic of safety in public American high schools in response to the country’s frequent school shootings committed by armed students. While sports games, homecoming, and prom remain traditional high school rituals as always, a new set rituals have become commonplace: school lockdown drills, bag checks when entering the school, and even firearm training for teachers. The film approaches the deep, systemic problem of mass murders caused by racial and economic inequality among adolescents in American society, while also exploring the unimaginable fear for many European viewers that you can actually get shot in math class. “We’re doing everything we can to harden the infrastructure to keep people from getting in, but what keeps me up at night is that the wolf is in the henhouse. The threat always comes from inside.“ Bulletproof, (15:30–15:50)
personal program

Bulletproof

Todd Chandler
United States / 2020 / 83 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
The Vasulka Effect
Art experimentation, image deconstruction, observation process. For over half a century now, the pioneers of video art Woody and Steina Vasulka have been exploring human memory, media memory and memory of art as an institution. A taste of life-long cohabitation of this partner and creative couple presents a personal story of a journey along places marked by their common fate: Brno, Prague, Reykjavik, New York and Buffalo. The odyssey of artistic fame of the living legends is put in contrast with their fragile social world and uncertain life perspectives. The heritage of video art is structured according to the texture of media of individual eras of film (35mm, video and hard disk). Fifty years of avant-garde saved on an external disk.

The Vasulka Effect

Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir
Czech Republic, Iceland, Sweden / 2019 / 87 min.
section: Constellations
International Premiere
A Stranger
Mikel, director of the film, along with the protagonist Mathias, are childhood friends, nevertheless due to the time that has elapsed, the former finds that he knows hardly anything about the latter. The mad circumstances leading up to a fatal twist in their lives makes them shoot a documentary reconstruction about the process that turns into a very personal portrayal of a man who was made to live a double life against his will, the border between each one of them being as thin as a line drawn between victim and perpetrator in a ruthless criminal underworld. More than to the criminal plot though, attention is turned to stubborn attempts of a person dragged down by a spiral of serious problems while being able to wear a mask of seemingly happy and steady life.

A Stranger

Mikel Cee Karlsson
Sweden, Finland / 2019 / 99 min.
section: Constellations
East European Premiere
Movements of a Nearby Mountain
In an abandoned industrial zone at the foot of the Austrian Alps, a Nigerian mechanic lives and works by dismantling old cars and selling their individual parts, mainly to Eastern Europe and Africa. The documentary captures him during his work and while taking meditative breaks with a cigarette overlooking Erzberg Mountain, where iron ore has been mined since ancient Rome. The hero's isolated microcosm is observed at the very edge of economic activity, yet it is inextricably linked to global economic relations in Europe and Africa, the mining of resources, and the exploitation of profits.

Movements of a Nearby Mountain

Sebastian Brameshuber
Austria, France / 2019 / 85 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Irradiated
An archival memento of the horrors of war in the 20th century that delves into philosophical reflections on the nature of evil and the meaning of suffering. Raw images of prisoners in concentration and labor camps and victims of nuclear attacks are a chronicle of global human tragedy. The sensory and emotional experience is multiplied by a vertically divided image, which triples each shot. The dramatic content and Pahn’s stylistic quirkiness, however, are not an outright attempt to rattle the viewers’ cages. His philosophical essay, dedicated to documentary filmmaker and concentration camp survivor Marceline Loridan-Ivens, fights back against the contagion of oblivion that is spreading through the current infinitely changing and accelerated audiovisual landscape.     “Big media changes images every ten seconds. The next day, no one cares what happened yesterday. No one thinks about the consequences of what happened in the past.” R. Panh
personal program

Irradiated

Rithy Panh
France, Cambodia / 2020 / 88 min.
section: Constellations
East European Premiere
There will be no more night
Small silhouettes appear in the middle of the sights, observed from afar. They move quickly but they cannot escape the quick all-seeing eye. They are monitored all the time. Despite the apparent absence of the human element we are not watching an animated film or a computer game but authentic videos from Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian missions of American and French soldiers. The silhouettes belong to real people who are only a trigger pull away from death. This is the 21st-century warfare. Everyone who can be seen is under threat. Eléonore Weber used dehumanized images of dying for her chilling reflection of the modern form of war.Q&A with the director Eléonore Weber:  
personal program

There will be no more night

Eléonore Weber
France / 2020 / 75 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Honeyland
An ageing beekeeper in the rural Macedonian mountains strives to maintain the tradition of honest, environmentally friendly beekeeping. Her quiet everyday life – caring for the colony and selling honey in a nearby town, the untiring care of her mother, living off their farm without electricity – is interrupted by the arrival of nomadic beekeepers, who perceive nature primarily as an opportunity for profit, a way to break free from their poverty. The filmmakers spent three years with the heroine of the film, shooting over four hundred hours of material which became the basis of this melancholy environmental appeal, lyrically depicting the immaculate beauty of nature.

Honeyland

Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska
Macedonia / 2019 / 85 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Un film dramatique
For four years, the director has been meeting up with students of a film club at Dora Maar high school in the ethnically colourful city of Saint Denis near Paris, observing how the protagonists and filmmakers-to-be were growing up, looking for their roots and identity, finding a common form of their film in making that had supposed to be really about anything in the beginning. Through showing everyday banalities, the participants were learning to work with the language of film, constantly coming back with reflections on changing formats and contents of their intended work that was meant to become a metaphor of their own place in the world.

Un film dramatique

Eric Baudelaire
France / 2019 / 114 min.
section: Constellations
Central European Premiere
Four Seasons and Autumn
Multi-talented artist and Czech native Jiří Synek (1921-2017), known to readers as František Listopad, spent most of his life in Portugal, where he performed under the name Jorge. He was a poet, translator, theater and film director, organizer, and teacher, and as such had a large influence on Portuguese cultural life. He had a significant role in building the Portuguese television and film school. He also wrote continuously, and his poems and prose are an exceptional testimony to the melancholy of exile. The documentary contains revealing archival recordings and poetic sequences, presenting Listopad through his ideas and life philosophy.

Four Seasons and Autumn

Pedro Sena Nunes
Portugal / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Constellations
Central European Premiere
Epicentro
Somewhere between North and South America, capitalism and communism, and the Soviet Union and the United States lies Cuba — regarded as a historical, geographical, and cultural intersection of various utopian visions. Although these visions have yet to be fulfilled, the people of Havana, whom Hubert Sauper chose as his guide, still cleave to them and continue to believe the stories of their ancestors. This spontaneous and melancholic travel essay confronts the unadorned reality of the impoverished island state and explores the myths its people live by. And despite the country’s long history of foreign influence, oppression, and political upheavals, these myths have ensured that the people of Cuba never lose their inner freedom.     “In Epicentro, I tried to reflect on these amazing and opposing terms, ‘utopia’ and ‘dystopia’, and thereby focused on Cuban society as a case study.” H. Sauper Q&A with the director of Epicentro Hubert Sauper:
personal program

Epicentro

Hubert Sauper
France, United States, Austria / 2020 / 107 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
A Moon for My Father
The body as a material sculpting object and abstract unity of functions. The body as a part of early traumas, ideological rejection, political censorship, persistence and ephemerality. The body as a concept of organization of extensive natural communities. The body as an empty shrine for further artistic use. This audiovisual essay in letters by Iranian filmmaker and British sculptor is a dreamful, intimate dialogue, discourse on the country’s fate following the Islamic revolution, on family and a desire to perfect the female body devastated by malignant disease. A film conversation on the artistic reflection of beauty, memory, experience, fulfilment and inception of new life.

A Moon for My Father

Douglas White, Mania Akbari
United Kingdom, Iran / 2019 / 73 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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