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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

The Second Republic

director: Aleš Koudela
original title: Druhá republika
country: Czech Republic
year: 2018
running time: 52 min.

synopsis

The Second Republic was relatively short-lived. But those few months were one of the most dramatic and important periods in our history. In 1938 in Munich, all the ideals and values on which Czechoslovakia had been built came crumbling down. Czech society ceased to believe in democracy and began to admire authoritarian fascist governments. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the occupied Sudetenland for what remained of the country, but nobody wanted to take them in. The media was subjected to censorship, and an aggressive strain of anti-Semitism appeared among the Czech population. And on top of it all, there were further territorial demands by Germany, Poland, and Hungary, and separatist tendencies in Slovakia.

more about film

director: Aleš Koudela
producer: Lenka Poláková
script: Aleš Koudela, Martin Pekárek
photography: Tomáš Nikel, David Rojíček
editing: Jaromír Vašek
sound: Petr Pokorný, Jakub Krajíček

other films in the section

Don’t Give Up: Every Bike Has Two Souls
The Bikes for Africa charitable project has been operating in the Czech Republic since 2012. Its mission is to offer African children a way of getting to school. The project is founded on the principles of giving, volunteerism, cooperation, and people’s personal initiative. One interesting paradox is the fact that the project involves people from the margins of society (prisoners, homeless people), who recieve a “second chance,” thus giving the project not only a humanitarian, but also an environmental dimension involving the “ecology of the soul.” The film shows all these aspects of the project, set against the journey of one particular bicycle donated by a Czech girl to her Gambian peer. 
personal program

Don’t Give Up: Every Bike Has Two Souls

Martin Homan
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The People’s Militia
A look at a forgotten chapter in modern Czech history. The “armed fist of the working class,” formed from various factory guard units on the instigation of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, began operating under the guidance of the Central Union Committee in May 1945. After the communist takeover in 1948, the People’s Militia was sent upon orders of the Communist Party to “defend” the borders or to act against students, farmers, the church, demonstrators protesting the currency reform. Their actions against anti-regime gatherings in 1969 resulted in several deaths. They also acted brutally during the demonstrations in Prague in 1988 and 1989.
personal program

The People’s Militia

Jan Rousek
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
The Crimean (Pen) Insula
A documentary look at this current political issue presents unique scenes of life in the annexed territory where foreign journalists and television crews are not allowed. The film is a mosaic portrait of several men and women, whose everyday lives have been affected by the political crisis between Ukraine and Russia. Just as international pressure and sanctions have made the Crimean peninsula a de facto island, so too are the supporters and opponents of Russian annexation isolated (pen)insulas in search of their identity within the sea of a divided society. 
personal program

The Crimean (Pen) Insula

Jaroslav Kratochvíl
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
The Last Hope of Věra Bílá
Věra Bílá was once one of the largest celebrities on the Czech music scene. Together with the band Kale, she went on numerous tours of Europe, the USA, and Japan. But after leaving the band in 2006 she no longer performs in public, and her passion for gambling machines caused her to fall into debt. In 2013, her only (adopted) son passed away, followed soon after by her husband. She spent Christmas 2016 all alone in a small room. Nobody gave her any gifts. She remembers her grandmother, who survived Auschwitz, and the many downturns and insults she has had to suffer. And yet she looks forward, with faith in a new project, new energy, hope…
personal program

The Last Hope of Věra Bílá

Roman Šantúr, David Vondráček
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
Born in 1918
Vlasta Šrůtková has lived through many ups and down not just in her own life, but in the life of her country. She is exceptionally vital for her age, living on Prague’s Kampa Island, a perfect place for reflecting on Czech history, identity, the nation. Her life is an exceptionally strong story in which the central event of our country are also key moments in her own life. 
personal program

Born in 1918

Eva Tomanová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
King Skate
Sticking to the asphalt. Zipping through space. Everything in motion. Skateboard! In the gray atmosphere of 1970s and ’80s communist Czechoslovakia, it was something completely new and different. Love at first sight. A never-ending party. Adrenaline. Cult figures of the era’s skateboard scene tell their stories of broken bones, unbroken friendships, and wild rides towards freedom amidst communism.
personal program

King Skate

Šimon Šafránek
Czech Republic / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Brothers Beyond the Grave
Their parents came to Czechoslovakia in August 1968 along with the occupying forces. Today, these “children of Milovice” find themselves on opposing sides in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. These “brothers,” destined for “friendship for all eternity,” are now shooting at one another. How do the children of the former officers stationed in Milovice see the contemporary Czech Republic and Russia? 
personal program

Brothers Beyond the Grave

Martin Jazairi
Czech Republic / 2017 / 59 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
That Moment: Classmates Among the Tanks
Fifty years ago, they lived through the invasion of Czechoslovakia; now they revisit moments captured on film. Věra Křesadlová and her young sons quickly left to be with her husband Miloš Forman in Paris. Petr Semerád witnesses soldiers shooting into crowds of people by the main radio station in Prague. Czech Television’s documentary series on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 invasion was inspired by the popular Israeli series Capturing the Moment, which has been adapted in eight different countries.
personal program

That Moment: Classmates Among the Tanks

Zdeněk Tyc
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Don’t Give Up: All Around Me Lives and Feels Like Me
Painter, wood-carver, typesetter, printer, writer, and poet Josef Váchal was one of the most distinctive artists of the 20th century. He left behind an extensive body of work, in which his monumental book – a kind of modern codex devoted to his great love, the Bohemian Forest – holds a remarkable place. With The Bohemian Forest: Dying, Romantic, the inveterate wanderer and pilgrim Josef Váchal offers an enduring testemony of the ancient face of the Bohemian Forest and its inimitable and disappearing beauty. 
personal program

Don’t Give Up: All Around Me Lives and Feels Like Me

Karel Čtveráček
Czech Republic / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Infiltration: The Health Business
After fifteen years, Czech Television has filmed a sequel to its successful documentary cycle Infiltration. This time around, the filmmakers focused on psychosomatic medicine in the Czech Republic. Unhappy with the quality of medical care and with doctors’ lack of empathy and time, many patients have turned to “alternative” treatments. But if “alternative” treatment is offered by academically certified doctors and psychologists, are they just as responsible for their actions in non-medical facilities as they are in regular doctors’ offices and hospitals? The documentary uncovers the scandalous medical practices at one Prague facility, shot over the course of one year using a hidden camera.
personal program

Infiltration: The Health Business

Šárka Maixnerová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 62 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Stubborn Architect Martin Rajniš
Martin Rajniš, the “enfant terrible” of Czech architecture, refuses to accept the current state of his field and of society in general. He is just as “terrible” as the French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who designed Washington, D.C., for President Thomas Jefferson. According to one version, the expression “enfant terrible” was inspired by the fact that L’Enfant was extremely difficult to work with. Today, however, it often describes someone original, daring, and direct. The documentary captures Rajniš’s inspirational approach and his working process – both at his studio in Prague and at his country cottage in the village of Maxov in the Jizera Mountains.
personal program

Stubborn Architect Martin Rajniš

Roman Vávra
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
The Russian Job
Lada, once the largest and best manufacturer of automobiles in the Soviet Union, is today a financial disaster. In comes a seasoned Swedish manager with the job of bringing back the company’s golden era. At a meeting in the town of Tolyatti, deep in the heart of Russia, everyone comes with their own vision of the future that they do not want to compromise. The Russian Job is the story of great plans and even greater absurdity.
personal program

The Russian Job

Petr Horký
Czech Republic / 2017 / 64 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
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