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23rd 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

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.

Report

Fan Wu
China / 2018 / 700 min.
section: Special Event
World Premiere
Risk
Risk was made over the course of six years, during which the director was in close contact with Julian Assange in his asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Poitras showed the film at last year’s festival in Cannes, but she later re-cut it, thus turning a positive portrait of her subject into a film that casts Assange in a more ambivalent light.

Risk

Laura Poitras
Germany, United States / 2017 / 92 min.
section: Special Event
Central European 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
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
how we live – messages to the family
Migration is a natural process and moving images have crossed borders ever since the invention of film. Using found footage and based on his own journey from the Netherlands to Morocco, Austrian director Gustav Deutsch deconstructs home video as a format as an unconscious aesthetic code connecting homes across various frontiers.

how we live – messages to the family

Gustav Deutsch
Austria / 2017 / 107 min.
section: Special Event
East European 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
Putin's Witnesses
Vitaly Mansky revisits footage which he shot in late 1999 in close proximity to Vladimir Putin, when he first entered office as President of Russia. Mansky's commentary reflects on the epoch and Putin's actions and behavior, contrasting these with subsequent events. 

Putin's Witnesses

Vitaly Mansky
Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia / 2018 / 102 min.
section: Special Event
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
France, Switzerland / 2018 / 84 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
This Oscar-nominated chronicle of the virtual world offers a multifaceted look at the tangled landscape of the internet from its birth to the present day. In a series of encounters with people from all over the planet, Herzog shows how the virtual world is becoming a part of our lives, changing every aspect of contemporary human culture and society.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

Werner Herzog
United States / 2015 / 98 min.
section: Special Event
Czech 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
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
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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