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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Crulic - The Path to Beyond

director: Anca Damian
original title: Crulic - Drumul spre dincolo
country: Poland, Romania
year: 2011
running time: 71 min.

synopsis

FilmHOPELESSNESS uses hand drawings, cutout animation, and pixilation to tell the story of a Romanian citizen who died in a Polish prison as the result of a hunger strike. In this politically engaged documentary, the protagonist describes his absurd tale: although no guilt was proven, he was imprisoned anyway. He decides that a hunger strike is the only way to preserve his humanity.

more about film

director: Anca Damian
producer: Aparte Film
script: Anca Damian
photography: Ilija Zogowski
editing: Catalin Cristutiu
music: Piotr Dziubek

other films in the section

noimage
FilmAPATHY uses a restaurant in the western Georgian town of Chokhatauri to symbolize the decline of the southern Caucasus and the people’s weariness from economic failure and political ills. The owners are patient, but there are few guests. Election posters and TV ads promise a better life, but it looks like nothing can change.

Bakhmaro

Salomé Jashi
Georgia, Germany / 2011 / 60 min.
section: Between the Seas
East European Premiere
Tristia – A Black Sea Odyssey
A remarkable travelogue from a trip around the Black Sea: along its shores, lined by the boundaries of six states, and through bizarre seaside resorts. More than the tourist industry or political problems, the film focuses on solitary statues, decaying architectural monuments, and the personal stories of the local people. From each stop on their journey, the filmmakers send a series of stylized video postcards with the playfulness of staged scenes, set against the backdrop of the sea. In this cinematic answer to Ovid’s Black Sea lamentations, that ancient text receives new qualities that tell us about a place that is accursedly beautiful but also beautifully cursed.DETAIL:“When the Roman Emperor Trajan came here, his legionnaires quickly went about producing children with the beautiful Dacian women. Thus the Romanian people is a combination of whores and bandits.”

Tristia – A Black Sea Odyssey

Stanislaw Mucha
Germany / 2014 / 98 min.
section: Between the Seas
East European Premiere
My Granny from Mars
Babushka Zina is originally Ukrainian, but because of the current political situation she has remained in Russian-occupied Crimea. Separated from her family, she lives in a forgotten seaside town while trying to decide whether to stay or to leave. The sounds of Russian contemporary music and folk songs add to the atmosphere of her exile town, which is seen through a sensitive lens filled with sentimentality. But the consequences of the unsatisfactory political situation are ever-present in this place, which is like a different planet. The way in which the director records Zina’s relationship to her friends and family betrays a deep respect for this old woman, her life wisdom, and her experiences."After the annexation of Crimea my old Ukranian granny Zina had to face the fact of living on a 'new planet'. For many reasons, the time has come for her to make a crucial decision." A. Mihalkovich

My Granny from Mars

Alexander Mihalkovich
Belarus, Ukraine, Estonia / 2018 / 83 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
noimage
FilmFIRE combines five films shot by students from Marina Razbezhkina’s Documentary Film Studio, showing the 2010 forest and peat bog fires in central Russia. The filmmakers travel with firefighters and volunteers to the afflicted areas, reporting on the struggle with the fire and painting a socially important portrait of contemporary Russian.

Film Almanac “Fires in Russia, summer 2010”

Elena Demidova, Andrey Kartavcev, Timofey Usikov, Anna Shmeleva
Russia / 2011 / 130 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
THE LAST IMAGE
What’s it like to live with vision loss, knowing that someday soon you’ll never be able to see the faces of those you love again? This film is a survey of the lives of people living with visual impairments who have either already gone completely blind or are slowly losing sight of the world around them, but still do not give up in their pursuit of happiness and a life of positivity. The film’s protagonists share their feelings, fears, and frustrations, but also their most memorable visual sights, their dreams, and their hope of perhaps one day being able to go on living an almost completely normal life. The film’s lyrical storytelling style, melancholically stylised frames, and fragments of personal archives contrast with the harsh realities of the lives of people living with visual impairments.   “It’s mostly moments that I remember. Not even images. A smile is what I can remember... or the sparkle in someone else’s eyes.” from THE LAST IMAGE (00:01:40–00:01:54)   Q&A with Judith Zdesar:  
personal program

THE LAST IMAGE

Judith Zdesar
Austria / 2020 / 70 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Self(less)-Portrait
Documentary filmmaker Matej Bobrik turns the camera on himself at a time of change in his life, defined by his relationship to two women: his grandmother, with whom he talks only on the telephone ever since the recent death of his mother, and his new Japanese wife, whom he married in part to help her deal with the Polish authorities. Tellingly, Bobrik records only moments of transition, but not their causes or consequences.  

Self(less)-Portrait

Matej Bobrik
Poland / 2012 / 45 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Lecedra
Lecedra is a small village in Bulgaria. It is also the director’ home, to which he returns after a long absence, camera in hand. A documentary about the impossibility of being an impartial observer in a place to which one is bound by emotions. Into the sometimes highly descriptive observations, there suddenly intrudes the director’s emotionally animated commentary. A small, snow-shrouded village in a post-communist country. The Eisenstein-like conflict between the old and the new (relicts of totalitarianism contrast with the achievements of capitalism) takes on sleepy contours in the wintry timelessness, far from the budding spring.

Lecedra

Jivko Darakchiev
France, Bulgaria / 2012 / 29 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
This is a war, baby
Without showing any explicit battle footage, this film nevertheless manages to show the life of Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers on the Donetsk front. Images of ruin and destruction from places that only recently were the scenes of fighting are transformed into a tragicomic parable of survival in a provisional space-time. Looting is a daily occurrence, and going out in search of booty becomes a boyish adventure during which the participants explore places only recently inhabited by private individuals. And when all this is recorded by a Polish television crew headed by a canny female reporter, an existential satire is born. The war is there, but somewhere around the corner."The most difficult thing for me in creating this film was the choice between my personal sympathies and the desire to present the most objective picture of the war I saw in front of me." Y. Pupyrin

This is a war, baby

Yurii Pupirin
Ukraine / 2017 / 59 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Don´t Breathe
The direction of Levan’s life changed with just one doctor’s exam. What appeared at first to be a temporary situation caused by his surroundings and his own anxiety quickly changed into the realization that his life was falling apart in his hands. The filmmaker follows in Levan’s footsteps and with a detached observational form guides us through the carousel of absurd situations and personal and professional problems which the main protagonist finds himself more and more deeply bogged down in. The result is a grotesque, tragi-comedic tale about an originally phlegmatic man who is attempting to deal with the uncertainties in his life and find himself in the Georgian metropolis. DETAIL:I’m very calm, serene. I rarely lose my temper. But everybody fights with me. Why? I just don’t understand.

Don´t Breathe

Nino Kirtadze
France / 2014 / 86 min.
section: Between the Seas
European Premiere
Sleeping souls
A Russian director puts together a mosaic or his country’s rural mentality deformed by government propaganda. The pre-election season in the Russian town of Achinsk is filled with the voices of the regime’s supporters, drowned out only by the chopping of ice on a Siberian lake. The regime’s skeptical opponents are already predicting the clear outcome. The locals’ passivity and the election commission’s unspoken stance on the clear ballot manipulation culminate in the citizens’ inability to change the situation. Putin’s emotional tears following his victory are a visual metaphor for the artificiality of the entire election process in Russia.

Sleeping souls

Alexander Rastorguev
France / 2013 / 51 min.
section: Between the Seas
East European Premiere
Normalization
Nearly 40 years ago, a young woman was murdered in Slovakia. To this day, the group of men who were convicted of this crime have tried in vain to prove that they are the victims of judicial terror. The director, who does not hide the fact that the sympathizes with the convicted, goes beyond their case and indirectly reveals doubts as to the trustworthiness of his country’s judicial system. Only once do most of the convicted appear together before the camera: when their sentences are confirmed in 2006. More than the words, recriminations, anger, and sadness, the viewer remembers their exhausted expressions and the realization that they can never give up.

Normalization

Robert Kirchhoff
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2013 / 100 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Focus On Infinity
What do the head of the Vatican’s astronomy programme, a holder of the Nobel Prize in physics, and a man who allegedly saw a UFO have in common? What are the limits of science and human observation, and what truth does science actually present to us? Leading natural scientists, astronomers and physicists reflect on the nature of infinity, science, and types of human knowledge. The filmmaker sidesteps any definite conclusions and instead presents a thoughtful, hypnotic essay in which the viewer is immersed into contemplation with the help of an ambient soundtrack and incredible images of gigantic telescopes, laboratories and arid wastelands through which the wind dances.DETAIL:"We evolve because we are every single day asking ourself something new. The day in which we stop to ask ourself something new, we are done. Our reason to exist doesn't exist anymore."

Focus On Infinity

Joerg Burger
Austria / 2014 / 80 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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