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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf
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

Up' Rising 68
In May 1968, France experienced yet another revolutionary moment. Students and workers entered a general strike, action committees were formed, people were engaging in debates in from of factories, and there was fighting in the streets. Contemporary footage creates an epic fresco of events during which the energy of utopian ideals helped shake the society.
personal program

Up' Rising 68

Jacques Kebadian, Andrieu Michel
France / 2018 / 80 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Following
Outside the Internet, Youtubers are ordinary people like us; at least that’s what we can see in a film that follows five of the new rock stars for a year. Offering insights into their family background, creative thinking and ideological bedrock of the people who belong to the greatest influencers and who shape today’s young generation.

Following

Jiří Sádek
Czech Republic / 2017 / 91 min.
section: Special Event
World Premiere
I Had Nowhere to Go
While iconic experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas recounts his childhood in occupied Lithuania, the image remains silent or shrouded in mystery. The horrors of war cannot be shown directly, and so the main role is taken by the soundtrack, with Mekas’s voice shattered into a chaos of bangs, explosions, and excerpts of modern classical music.

I Had Nowhere to Go

Douglas Gordon
Germany / 2016 / 98 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
Germany, China, France / 2017 / 86 min.
section: Special Event
Central European Premiere
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
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. 
personal program

Combat Obscura

Miles Lagoze
Afghanistan, United States / 2018 / 68 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.
personal program

Aquarela

Viktor Kossakovsky
Germany, United Kingdom / 2018 / 89 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.
personal program

The Image Book

Jean-Luc Godard
France, Switzerland / 2018 / 84 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
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
Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina / 2016 / 140 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Report
A 700-minute documentary is a historical record of the changes of independent music across China. Film, mammoth and complete, shows evolution and conflicts in which several generations of Chinese society are involved.
personal program

Report

Fan Wu
China / 2018 / 700 min.
section: Special Event
World Premiere
Meeting Gorbachev
A confrontational dialogue between Werner Herzog and the last Soviet president is the core of a portrait made up primarily of archival and illustrative footage against the background of which Herzog’s hypnotic voice reflects on Gorbachev’s political career, including the eras of perestroika and glasnost, through his tragic end.
personal program

Meeting Gorbachev

André Singer, Werner Herzog
Germany, United States, United Kingdom / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
The White World According to Daliborek
Dalibor, the protagonist of Vít Klusák’s latest documentary film, lives with his mother and her boyfriend, works at a lousy job, and likes to shoot extreme YouTube videos. He is also a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi. The film is a grotesque portrait of the denigrated and frustrated layers of society that give rise to extremism.

The White World According to Daliborek

Vít Klusák
Czech Republic / 2017 / 105 min.
section: Special Event
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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