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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Falling Star
The Falling Star
The Falling Star
The Falling Star

The Falling Star

director: Loïc Malo
original title: L’étoile manquante
country: France, Czech Republic
year: 2020
running time: 18 min.

synopsis

A disquieting exploration of the chaotic dictatorial thinking of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, who, during the last days of his life battles inner demons and remains firmly convinced of his own immortality.  A montage of contemporary shots, pixilation and cutout animation applied to archive photographs, creates an inhospitable world of shadows in which supporters and opponents of the Communist monster clash in face to face encounters.
 
“The use of the supernatural, multiple personalities and secondary psychological states become the logical tool for reviving Stalin, whose soul is becoming lost and is confused and pathological. In this collision between the present and the past, the story develops an independent view of the personality of an individual who left a great imprint in our modern-day history.” L. Malo
 
 
Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.

biography

French director Loïc Malo studied at the prestigious ENSAPC and ENSAD art schools in Paris in the 1980s. His work is characterized by film essays inspired by modern history, in which he uses various animation and editing techniques to connect film and photography in an original way.
 

more about film

director: Loïc Malo

other films in the section

A Partial History of the Natural World, 1965
A meditative exploration of the violent struggle for independence in southeast Asia is framed by excerpts from Sylvia Plath’s poem “Tulips”. The central theme is combined in a double exposure with scenes of butterfly metamorphosis. The entire meditation on the year 1965 is accompanied by Bartók’s Solo for Violin 3.DETAIL:As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. The Tulips, Sylvia Plath

A Partial History of the Natural World, 1965

Sasha Waters Freyer
United States, Vietnam / 2014 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
The Memory Atlas
The Memory Atlas refers to the unfinished work of Aby Warburg, a mentally ill German art historian. A surrealistic flow of ideas from his authentic writings from his stay in the Bellevue psychiatric hospital in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland commingles with the medical records of his psychotic states, tracing the border between madness and genius in one zoom out.

The Memory Atlas

Domenico Centrone
Belgium, Italy / 2019 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Laborat
This film for strong natures captures the concurrent (sense) activities of two working teams. On the premises of the Oncological Research Center in Berlin, we observe in detail the precise procedures conducted on the tiny naked bodies of lab mice while aiming the camera back at the film crew and pondering the sense of the documentation. DETAIL:The soundtrack is relentlessly synchronous. Even with closed eyes, the research is inescapable. Through the gaps between your fingers, you’ll still get a glimpse of the cold, sterile environment and the details of the interchangeable bodies and stiff paws of the anesthetized mice.

Laborat

Guillaume Cailleau
Germany / 2014 / 21 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Dusty Night
Car headlights illuminate life along the highway. Sweeping the sand from the busy road is the nightly bread and butter for dozens of Afghanis who have lost their homes in the war. The constantly present sound of the broom intensifies the sense of hopeless routine and of the dust that never goes away.  

Dusty Night

Ali Hazara
France / 2011 / 19 min.
section: Short Joy
Tabatô
Tabatô – the site of this black-and-white-and-red docudrama – is a small community in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau on the west coast of Africa. What makes this place remarkable is that all the local inhabitants are musicians. Into this small oasis in a world of instability is brought the idea of shooting and the trauma of war. The unpacked mystery of a closed suitcase.From the arrivals hall, a well-dressed native with a turban on his head emerges. The wheels of his suitcase roll across the hardened clay of the open plain. He is alone. A shot rings out... he hits the ground.

Tabatô

João Viana
Portugal / 2013 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Fading
A four-minute reconstruction of the last things that American soldier R.J. Bowman saw and heard in the moments before he was shot and then photographed in a house in Leipzig. The photographer behind the celebrated photographs, published in Life magazine, which became a symbol of the end of the war in 1945, was Robert Capa.DETAIL:Gunshot. The cracked door bursts open and a camera – I – run inside to explore the demolished space. Quick! Up. To the second floor. The clattering of hurrying feet and curt orders where to go. To death.

Fading

Alina Cyranek
Germany / 2014 / 4 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
noimage
FilmRELATIONSHIP depicts an unusual living arrangement between two women. On 5 May 2005, Beverly vowed obedience to the older Catherine, thus relinquishing her freedom for the rest of her life. A film about material, mental, and physical dependence. Although Beverly was never attracted to women and is a mother herself, Catherine represents her ideal of unattainable love.

The Contract

Lina Mannheimer
Sweden / 2010 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
The Length
Following an introductory trumpet solo and audience applause, we enter into the large home and thoughts of the now-deceased jazz legend Ted Curson, a brilliant trumpeter and composer. This cinematic portrait, infused with an unobtrusive and tangible sense of intimacy, uses imaginative static shots to frame the contemplations of a burly man who is short on time.  DETAIL:Through a crack in the door, the camera films a wide range of emotions that are reflected in the old man‘s face as he plays with closed eyes. His hair is gray and his body bent, but just like his home, he too possesses many rooms filled with light.

The Length

Iván Torres Hdez
Finland / 2014 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Marshal’s Two Executions
The films confronts two different views of the execution of General Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader during the Second World War. On one side is silent black-and-white footage of the execution as recorded in 1946 by cameraman Ovidiu Gologanl; on the other are scenes from a biographical film shot in 1994 by director Sergiu Nicolaescu.

The Marshal’s Two Executions

Radu Jude
Romania / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Common language
The director, who has always been viewed as the black sheep in her family, sets out to the Belarusian town of Vitebsk to talk with her parents about previous grievances and topics that were considered taboo. The effort to find a common language, which runs into stormy emotions and the inability to voice honest opinions, is captured through both personal moments and detailed shots of the protagonists’ faces.     “I decided to visit my parents in Vitebsk so that I could talk with them about things I didn’t have the courage to speak about before, and to ask them some crucial questions.” V. Chajkouskaya     Watch Short Joy films for free on DAFilms now and decide who will win the Audience Award. Voting ends on 29 October.
personal program

Common language

Volia Chajkouskaya
Estonia, Belarus / 2019 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Pareidolia
A Zen-like story wrapped in atmospheric music results in an unusual artistic project. Saskia Olde Wolbers specializes in a specific genre of video. This fantastical underwater documentary takes the audience down into a world of abstract forms and unusual models. An impersonal voiceover, interlaced with the wealth of images, describes the origins of the famous book Zen in the Art of Archery.  

Pareidolia

Saskia Olde Wolbers
United Kingdom / 2011 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Rogalik
Long wide-angle tracking shots that touch, in an exploratory manner, dreamlike scenes of the holiday season within a labyrinth of flaking homes, a panoply of their residents and Christmas-tree decorations. The images require no commentary, the music occasionally thunders, and the sound of mud under automobile tires means that we are leaving again, fresh loot in hand. The knitting needles pass the red yarn through each loop. Three adults sit in the comfort of an armchair and a sofa, inertly devoted to the television screen. A plush panda is clutched tightly. Only the lively pink balloon and fidgeting child interrupt the atmosphere of rural horror.

Rogalik

Pawel Ziemilski
Poland / 2012 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
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