24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
synopsisThis filmed survey of second-year students of the Documentary Department explores the conflicts that arise when a woman wants to study, possibly even set out along an academic career path, but at the same time longs to properly care for her family and children. The scenes portray the efforts of the female students, and their off-screen statements are interspersed with a contemporary commentary.
biographyDirector, screenwriter and teacher Jan Boněk (1945) made over 700 documentary films and news programs for Czechoslovak Television. Between 1972 and 1989 he was a professor at FAMU’s Documentary Department.
more about film
other films in the section
What are the ideological concepts behind the emergence of documentary film as a separate field of study at FAMU? How is the documentary approach to film specific and unique? How can this specificity be reflected in the teaching and how does it differ from journalism? Documentarian Viola Ježková will try to answer these questions. The workshop will be supplemented with examples of student film exercises. Participant input and discussion will be welcomed.---Kurátorka programu a autorka textů / Curator and author of the texts: Viola Ježková
Prerequisites and Emergence of FAMU’s Documentary Department in 1963-1970
The wedding film of the Plastic People’s singer, Paul Wilson, shows the scene before and after the ceremony at the town hall in Prague 5, including the gathered friends and the final departure of the newlyweds.
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 3 min.
The spoken word plays the main role in this investigative documentary. While the screen remains black, we listen to a conversation between officials and filmmakers who want to shoot a film about lung disease in Sichuan. The audio record exposes the typical strategy of censorship, progressing from false affability to the point of open threats.
China / 2016 / 62 min.
East European Premiere
Chinese novelist, playwright, and literary critic Gao Xingjian will personally introduce not only his literary work but also his films. Gao will introduce his two finished films: Silhouette/Shadow (2003) a subtle, poetic portrait of an artist-loner intertwined by scenes from Gao’s theatre plays. His second film, Apres le déluge/After the Flood (2008) named after his famous exhibition presented worldwide is a silent fresco interaction between ink and six dancers. After the screening Gao will read from his book Soul Mountain for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000.
WORKSHOP Gao Xingjian
This six-part documentary series follows three very different young Czech couples who over the course of 2012 have decided to get married. The series shows not only their wedding preparations, but also explores the intimate details of their lives. The three couples’ extreme views and social circumstances lead to numerous situations in which we can reflect upon our own relationships and the meaning and purpose of the marriage ceremony.
Czech Republic / 2012 / 45 min.
One of Ságl’s few non-documentary films captures the underground scene in one static shot showing a never-ending mass of people emerging from the escalator in the Prague metro. Although it is clearly a structural film – a fixed composition with several layers of motion – Ságl also uses it to explore social issues. The mass of commuters is carried forward by a seemingly unstoppable force without any chance of escaping the flow of people – an image of early Normalization in the 1970s. The film was repeatedly projected as a visual accompaniment to concerts by the Plastic People.
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 22 min.
Jan Ságl (*1942) is considered the court photographer of the Czechoslovak underground of the 1960s and ’70s. He also shot a total of 12 short films in 1971-1974. With a Super-8 camera, he photographed and filmed scenes from the underground, including concerts and happenings. Because he was a past of this closed community, his camera and hand-held spotlight had direct access to people and events, allowing him to create a captivating record of the atmosphere of underground culture.---Kurátor programu a autor textů / Curator and author of the texts: Martin Blažíček, FAMU CAS
Scenes from the Underground. The Films of Jan Ságl, 1971–1974
Ivan Tatíček was among the most prominent figures in the Czech alternative documentary scene in the 1980s. His films are characterized by spontaneity, improvisation and the use of home footage techniques. They authentically depict the atmosphere of life in late-stage socialism, in which they capture a number of personalities of the alternative cultural scene in addition to everyday situations. His films were made under private circumstances, and after private screenings and showings at amateur festivals, they were later completely forgotten about. In a new digitized version prepared by the National Film Archive, they will be presented in a revived premiere with the filmmaker himself an active participant of the screening. The workshop is led by Martin Blažíček Group D, 1982, 27 min Nothing different, 1983, 23 min Metrofilm, 1984, 9 min Home, Sweet Home, 1986, 19 min
Ivan Tatíček: A Chronicle of Late-Stage Socialism
Czech Republic / 110 min.
A private concert by the Plastic People at their practice space in the now-demolished house (no. 1) on the corner of Dělnická and Argentinská Streets in Prague. Because of the cramped conditions, Ságl recorded the events in extreme close-up using his characteristic hand-held lighting. The close-ups are often on the border of being out of focus. This, combined with the bright light source, makes it one of the rawest and most original documentaries of its time.
Studio at Argentinská
Czechoslovakia / 1973 / 13 min.
Dramaturge, screenwriter, and director Pavol Sýkora (1931–1970) was a central figure of Slovak documentary film in the 1960s. He worked as a dramaturge on documentary films at Koliba Studios. The selected films represent his most distinctive and original portraits. Besides an inclination for the reconstruction pioneered by Flaherty, Sýkora’s work is characterized by an attempt at achieving a maximum understanding of the subject free of embellishment, academism, and pathos, and without being didactic. The results are deeply felt portraits of man or explorations of inner experience, often without words.---Dílnu vede / The Workshop is led by: Martin Kaňuch
Using reconstruction methods and the protagonist’s personal commentary, this Flahertyesque documentary takes a look at the life of an 80-year-old man who is raising his three grandchildren, whose mother has died and whose father has abandoned them. It is not, however, merely a lecture about practical activities, but rather about the principles and values he introduces to the children.“In addition to a pure idea, Sýkora inserted immense and pure emotion into his film – love and admiration of a person, honoring his life and his work.” Antonín Navrátil
Vlado, Marienka, Jojo and Grandfather
Czechoslovakia / 1965 / 21 min.
While on a trip with Ivan M. Jirous, Jan Ságl came across several dozen metal printers’ plates hanging out in the open landscape. A much-needed product in samizdat circles, the plates were being used to scare away birds. The film shows a sun-drenched landscape with scattered silver points arranged in random constellations like some kind of land-art. It is loosely inspired by Zorka Ságlová landscape interventions, which Jan Ságl regularly helped to realize and document in his photographs, and in which a large role is played by the juxtaposition of the landscape with objects of a more geometric nature
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 11 min.