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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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To the Unknown
To the Unknown
To the Unknown

To the Unknown

director: Liinu Grönlund
original title: To the Unknown
country: Finland
year: 2017
running time: 30 min.

synopsis

The flora and fauna of Madagascar fascinate scientists from all over the world. Some spend their entire lives exploring the island. This visually captivating documentary follows several researchers during their work in the inhospitable conditions of the rainforest. A film reflection on the enthusiasm and patience of individuals hungry for the discovery of the unknown. 

biography

The work of Finnish filmmaker Liina Grönlund (1984) focuses on natural sciences and the environment. To The Unknown (2018) is also her thesis work in the department of documentary film. 

more about film

director: Liinu Grönlund
producer: Liinu Grönlund
photography: Mikko Levoska

other films in the section

Dusk Chorus - Based on Fragments of Extinction
In his project “Fragments of Extinction”, composer and researcher David Monacchi explores the landscape of the Amazon rainforest using audio recordings. The audiovisual symbiosis of natural still-lifes and three-dimensional audio landscapes makes his calls for preserving local biodiversity all the more believable and urgent.

Dusk Chorus - Based on Fragments of Extinction

Nika Šaravanja, Alessandro D'Emilia
Italy / 2016 / 62 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
History of Disobedience
An alternative history of Czechoslovakia, this five-part TV series explores the evolution of the environmental movement since the 1950s and how it negotiated its position with the communist regime. This unknown story comes alive through protagonists who were direct participants in the events – and co-authors of the revolution, whether consciously or not.A Testimony on Nature - Out of competition

History of Disobedience

Ivo Bystřičan
Czech Republic / 2017 / 56 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
World Premiere
Nature: All Rights Reserved
The autumn landscape on glass in an office, virtual 3D tropical motifs or static palm trees in a dentist’s waiting room. This original collage of motionless simulations of the outside world, accompanied by an authentic mix of sounds, uses ironic imagery to explore the role of depictions of nature in relaxing the inhabitants of overtechnologised urban centres.

Nature: All Rights Reserved

Sebastian Mulder
Netherlands / 2016 / 21 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Welcome to Sodom
They call it Sodom. A hell for people. A paradise for business. The world’s biggest dump of electronic waste is teeming with noises of people working. They rummage, collect, recover and burn down. An impressive apocalyptic tableau on meticulous work within a new economic segment. A disconcerting testimony on life conditions.

Welcome to Sodom

Florian Weigensamer, Christian Krönes
Austria / 2018 / 90 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Becoming Animal
This philosophical film-essay explores the relationship between man and nature through long scenes of the mountainous landscape of the American West. A quiet meditation on the imperfect perception of reality, the search for the meaning of life, and finding harmony in the world around us, accompanied by a voiceover of the filmmakers’ views and philosophical commentary. 

Becoming Animal

Peter Mettler, Emma Davie
Switzerland, United Kingdom / 2018 / 78 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Wild Relatives
This observational film essay on our relations with the natural wealth is based on a real event and seed banks storing quantities of seeds of various plants in case of a global catastrophe. The film documents three places with different traditions related to the land – Aleppo, Lebanon, and Svalbard.

Wild Relatives

Jumana Manna
Lebanon, Norway, Germany / 2018 / 66 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Central European Premiere
The Climate Experiment
In 2017, climate change was the theme of all exhibitions by two Swedish artists. The film, which maps their annual tour around the world, combines educational moments with the observation of the common life of both artists. Shots of their installations and objects act as alienating effect that enhances the relevance of the global theme.

The Climate Experiment

Mats Bigert, Lars Bergström
Sweden, China, France, United States, Norway, Morocco / 2018 / 58 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
World Premiere
Earth
Spectacular images show several mining sites in Europe and North America. The relief-like terrain created by heaving machinery shows that man is changing the world like to other species before. Interviewed by the camera, the workers describe the pragmatic reasons for mining and they joy they feel from their work, but also reflect on their negative impacts on life on Earth. The interviews are made more powerful by seemingly neutral static shots of the changing landscape. The fascinating spectacle resembling a work of abstract art lays bare the unparalleled facts of life in this new wasteland and remind us of the consequences our planet suffers because of our modern way of life. “If we regard the Earth as an organism, then the Earth's crust - its skin which is its most delicate organ. I wanted to take a closer look at the wounds we are inflicting upon the Earth.” N. Geyrhalter     
personal program

Earth

Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Austria / 2019 / 115 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
Empty Cages
This short film with a clear moral message looks at the illegal activities of the activist group known as Empty Cages, which liberates animals from inhuman living conditions at large factory farms. The filmmaker compares the activists’ viewpoint with the opinions of the people around them and encourages us to consider what value society places on the lives of animals.

Empty Cages

Teresia Fant
Norway, Sweden / 2017 / 36 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
East European Premiere
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
The question is not whether we have to change, but whether we are taking the necessary steps quickly enough. Renewable energy or nuclear? Neither the people nor the politicians can make up their minds. The ice is melting. Trump is calling people back to the coal mines. All this is shown against the backdrop of a “green tour” by former Vice President Al Gore of the USA, who calls for a revolution before the deluge comes.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk
United States / 2017 / 99 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
The Dispossessed
The camera’s steadfast gaze carefully follows the toil of small-scale farmers across the globe and records speeches by representatives of food conglomerates and supporters of sustainable development. The documentary essay uncovers the pyramid of an agriculture industry interested only in profit, with no regard for the nutritional needs of man and the soil.

The Dispossessed

Mathieu Roy
Switzerland, Canada / 2017 / 182 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
World Premiere
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
The human approach has brought the planet Earth to a borderline called sixth mass extinction by scientists. Along with contemporary philosophies of thinkers such as Timothy Morton, calling for a radical change of the human relationship to the nature, the alarming fact has roused three documentarians to create a film that would be completely different from all the films showing beautiful landscapes and animals and would rather focus on everything that has been destroying this beauty. The suggestive shots of the places from all around the world that are most affected by extractions and industry serve as a proof of human short-sightedness and together with the highly-informative and brooding voice-over, they call for a last-minute change. “Sometimes you need to go up in the sky to convey place, but if you stay up there all the time, you float away from what is meaningful.” E. Burtynsky, J. Baichwal, N. de Pencier   
personal program

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

Nicholas de Pencier, Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky
Canada / 2018 / 87 min.
section: A Testimony on Nature
Czech Premiere
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