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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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A Letter to a Friend in Gaza
A Letter to a Friend in Gaza

A Letter to a Friend in Gaza

director: Amos Gitai
original title: A Letter to a Friend in Gaza
country: Israel
year: 2018
running time: 34 min.

synopsis

A film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict whose author shows uncompromising disapproval of the Gaza blockade, trying to stir responsibility in Israelis for their actions. As his basic tool, he uses readings of thematic stories and poems by Albert Camus, Mahmoud Darwish, Yizhar Smilansky and others.

biography

Amos Gitai (1950) made his debut film in 1972. He focuses on Israeli-Arab conflicts and his works have been presented at many festivals. Last year’s Ji.hlava IDFF screened his doc West of the River Jordan.

more about film

director: Amos Gitai
producer: Shuki Friedman, Laurent Truchot
photography: Oded Kirma
editing: Yuval Orr
music: Alex Claude

other films in the section

Sarajevo Songs of Woe
"SARAJEVO SONGS OF WOE" is a filmic triptych containing of the two tales "Blue Ballad for Lovers" and "Blue Rondo for Survivors" and the documentary middle part "Blue Psalm for Wolves". They are flowing into each other and so building up a universal mosaic of fragmented life situated in the town of Sarajevo. The camera follows different protagonists and interweaves with their cinematic round-dance of hope and despair, love and death and their quest for a dignified life.

Sarajevo Songs of Woe

Fred Kelemen
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany / 2016 / 140 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Mrs. Fang
Mrs. Fang suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. She no longer recognizes the people around her, she cannot speak and can barely move. Mrs. Fang is dying. Her relatives, friends and the filmmaker have gathered by her bed to, over the course of several days, show us dying as something that is both ordinary and that connects us all.

Mrs. Fang

Wang Bing
France, China, Germany / 2017 / 86 min.
section: Special Event
Central European Premiere
Combat Obscura
The film is a series of images of everyday life of US soldiers at an Afghanistan military base, interviews and shaky shots from a hand-held field camera. Alongside matter-of-fact depictions of devastating consequences of war, the filmmaker also reveals behind-the-scenes army life bursting with cynicism, chauvinist humor, but with fear and anxiety, too. 

Combat Obscura

Miles Lagoze
United States, Afghanistan / 2018 / 68 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Crisis
In the summer of 1938, American producer and director Herbert Kline came to Czechoslovakia to document the crisis in Europe. At that time, violence caused by Nazi small combat troops culminated in the Czechoslovak border region, although the officially Runciman Report, influenced by the Berlin and Sudeten German propaganda described the oppression of the Germans. The film Crisis  played a significant role in rebutting the distorted arguments. The film crew travelled all over Czechoslovakia for several months, recording the coexistence of the Czechs and Germans and filming the treasonous actions of the Henleinists who had only one goal – to disrupt the democratic republic.  Restored by The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. “In Habrová near the Czech border, soldiers are restoring order after a Nazi pogrom. German democrats, Czechs, Catholics and Jews were murdered in bed and shot in the street. Yet these people had lived here together for centuries. Anyone who was not a Nazi, was identified as a victim.” From the film Crisis
personal program

Crisis

Herbert Kline, Alexander Hackenschmied, Hanuš Burger
United States / 1939 / 70 min.
section: Special Event
University and Freedom
Universities are facing an urgent dilema: Should they provide education, or labour force for the current job market? This film essay follows several lines of thinking about tertiary education as well as a personal line of one of the authors, making an important point – university is also where we learn the habits of democratic decision making.

University and Freedom

Vít Janeček, Zuzana Piussi
Czech Republic / 2017 / 68 min.
section: Special Event
Work in Progress
Meuthen's Party
Jörg Meuthen looks like a polite provincial politician. This intimate behind-the-scenes look at his candidacy for German parliament as a member of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) – putting up posters, speaking at pubs, giving speeches before thousands of people – illustrates the unsettling ability of demagogic rhetoric to speak to the masses.

Meuthen's Party

Marc Eberhardt
Germany / 2017 / 93 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
The Image Book
The sadism of images/signs sneaking into our memory. Illustrated lies and false morality born out of political crimes. JLG’s audiovisual diary, a chronicle of thought and deconstruction of images, confronts various expressions of threats to the spirit, culture and civilization. Eisenstein, Hollywood, jihadi YouTubers. The war has started.

The Image Book

Jean-Luc Godard
Switzerland, France / 2018 / 84 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Peshmerga
This wartime essay spends several months following the Kurdish fighters in their struggle against the Islamic State. Rich on information, the film is based on an emotional contrast between visually captivating footage of battle and the consequences of war, accompanied by the filmmaker’s strongly rhetorical commentary.

Peshmerga

Bernard-Henri Lévy
France, Iraq / 2016 / 92 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Aquarela
Aquarela' takes audiences on a deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. Filmed at a rare 96 frames-per-second, the film is a visceral wake-up call that humans are no match for the sheer force and capricious will of Earth’s most precious element.

Aquarela

Viktor Kossakovsky
United Kingdom, Germany / 2018 / 89 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Roi Soleil
The film is a montage of the filmmaker’s installation featuring the actor Lluís Serrat as King Louis XIV posing his death agony for full seven days in front of visitors at the Graça Brandão gallery. The stertorous monarch spends most of his time rolling on the floor in the austere gallery interiors lit by red light.

Roi Soleil

Albert Serra
Spain, Portugal / 2018 / 61 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
West of the Jordan River
In 1982, Amos Gitai made a video diary tracking the progress of the peace process in the West Bank. Thirty-five years later, in something of a follow-up film, he conducts a dialogue with the inhabitants of the occupied territory. Disillusioned by politics, the Palestinians and the Israelis are trying to find their own way to achieve long-term changes.

West of the Jordan River

Amos Gitai
France / 2017 / 84 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
One Day in the Haram
Abrar Hussain spent over a year researching different aspects of the Haram in Makkah. He brings this extraordinary story of the place so revered that non-Muslims are forbidden from even setting foot in it. For the 1st time in history, witness the inner workings of the Haram, as seen through the eyes of the workers, over a full day period.

One Day in the Haram

Abrar Hussain
Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom / 2018 / 85 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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