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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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FREM
FREM
FREM

FREM

director: Viera Čákanyová
original title: FREM
country: Czech Republic, Slovakia
year: 2019
running time: 73 min.

synopsis

The film is a reaction to the current wave of post-humanist thinking caused by the development of technology and artifi cial intelligence as well as the climate crisis. The human species is beginning to realize its insignifi cance and transience, and human identity has found itself in a crisis. The fi lm FREM attempts to refl ect this feeling and creates a dehumanized and alienated view of landscape and nature beyond human perception of reality. Incomplete thoughts and fragments of dialogue, diverse music interrupted by rushes and glitches, and the seemingly confused, unanchored camera, create a disturbing, philosophical refl ection on the limits of anthropocentric thinking.

"Making this film was an extreme experience, in every aspect, not only physical, since we shot in Antarctica. I had to think un-thinkable. Leave the prison of anthropomorphism behind. Stop being human." V. Čákanyová

biography

Slovak director Viera Čákanyová (1980) studied screenwriting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and studied documentary filmmaking at FAMU in Prague, where she received an award at the FAMUfest festival for her student films Piraňa (2007) and Alda (2009). Currently, apart from her own documentary filmmaking, she is involved in dramaturgy and often collaborates on film projects with television or non-profit organizations.

more about film

director: Viera Čákanyová
cast: Martin Kovačík
producer: Nina Numankadić
photography: Tomáš Klein, Viera Čákanyová
editing: Marek Šulík, Viera Čákanyová
sound: Dominik Dolejší, Miroslav Tóth, Stanislav Abrahám

other films in the section

Good Mr. Benda
A sensitive portrait of grandfather Miroslav Benda, a tried and true Sokol member and an ordinary man with extraordinary vigor and ideals, revealing a story of human resilience and optimism through nostalgia and situational comedy. The film is a kind of observational documentary - it includes family videos and archival film material. We’re drawn into the microcosm of the village of Křenovice u Slavkova by two Japanese women who have decided to visit Benda, thanks to his long friendship with a university professor from Tokyo. Together with Benda, the audience travels to the only Japanese gas station in Europe, to Prague’s Strahov Stadium, and to New York to visit American Sokol members. “Old Mr. Benda fascinates me with his ability to elevate banality to a feast; he is like a Zen master who was asked about the meaning of life and said: ‘When you want to eat, eat; when you want to sleep, sleep.’” P. Jurda

Good Mr. Benda

Pavel Jurda
Czech Republic / 2018 / 76 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Gevar's Land
This portrait follows the daily life of Syrian Gevar, who left for France with his family and wants to apply for asylum in Reims, in the northeast of the country. Back in his homeland, Gevar’s passion was tending his garden and he is determined to pursue this hobby in a new place. He rents a small plot of land in the suburbs to spend time with his family. The film is not just about Gevar's passion for gardening, but it also shows from a completely different perspective the reality of war refugees’ lives in a new country and the hardships associated with applying for asylum, language barriers, and the difficulties with finding a job and supporting a family. "Gevar’s land explores the question: how do the land - by working it, by farming it - forge an organic tie between a man and a space ?" Q. Barhamji
personal program

Gevar's Land

Qutaiba Barhamji
France, Qatar / 2020 / 78 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
In Your Eyes
This Italian documentary on the daily lives of five visually impaired people is also an experiment based on an analogy between the movie camera and the human eye. The filmmakers have tried to use film technology to show audiences how people suffering from visual impairments see their surroundings. All of the film’s footage is strongly out of focus in order to show how visually impaired individuals see objects around them.DETAIL:“I see it as something restricted to a problem with my eyes. I am partially sighted and I could turn blind by just bringing a child into the world. I could turn blind by simply breastfeeding.”

In Your Eyes

Pietro Albino Di Pasquale
Italy / 2014 / 78 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
František of His Own Kind
For more than 30 years, former government clerk František Krause has had an active interest in ornithology. He studies birds and protects them, building birdhouses and trying to be as close to them as possible. He records birds with mathematical precision, archives his records, and carefully organizes all his information. Gogola’s documentary portrait shows how Krause combines love for nature with a positivist respect for facts and logical thinking. This remarkable symbiosis is fleshed out and subtly ironized by the narration, whose consciously exaggerated emphasis on minor facts subverts the conventional descriptive commentary we are used to hearing in traditional nature documentaries.DETAIL“Here you can see that the youngest branch of the Krause family comes to an end.” “And what will you leave behind?” “Lots of bird houses.”

František of His Own Kind

Jan Gogola ml.
Czech Republic / 2014 / 26 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Techsquat
The new form of community living called techsquat is open to all creatives, entrepreneurs and managers who want to share their personal and working space-time with similar-minded people. Five young people living together in a Prague apartment like to think of techsquatting as a progressive and stimulating lifestyle. The filmmakers follow their daily lives as they test the viability of this idea. Their observational approach based on long static shots does not prevent them from engaging in a bit of sarcasm – as hinted at in their choice and ordering of scenes and fully revealed at the film’s end.DETAIL:“Quality – it’s basically an attribute of things, like how we spend our time or something that works well. I think that people can be of good quality, too, and I firmly hope that there are a lot of quality people here.”

Techsquat

Tereza Bernátková
Czech Republic / 2015 / 36 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Gottland
Polish journalist Mariusz Szczygieł describes the Czech Republic, the subject of his book Gottland, as a country of horror, sadness, and grotesque that not even Kafka could have dreamt up. Inspired by his stories, five Czech documentarians made a film that explores the boundary of documentary and reenactment. Petr Hátle reconstructs an archive interview with Otakar Vávra and Lída Baarová, Viera Čákanyová uses animation, Lukáš Kokeš creates an analogy between the camera’s movement and an assembly line. An original, critical view of modern Czech history.DETAIL:“When does the line stop? I don’t know. It can’t. Everybody wants to do better and better and to have more and more things, so he has to invest more into it. You can’t jump out anymore. It’s like an anthill.”

Gottland

Klára Tasovská, Rozálie Kohoutová, Viera Čákanyová, Lukáš Kokeš, Petr Hátle
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland / 2014 / 100 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Like an Abortion, for the Very First Time
The Umbrella Movement was a wave of street protests that took place in Hong Kong from September to December 2014 as a reaction to oppressive practices of the Chinese government against the citizens of Hong Kong dissatisfied with planned changes in the electoral system. In her feature film debut, To Liu captured the citizens of the western part of Kowloon, Mong Kok, whose protests might not have been as visible as those of the leading activists, but were no less important. The documentary rhythmized by opening entries and darkening of the scene, much like the director’s first film, follows two characters, a master and an apprentice.„'We are the fucking losers. But at least we fought', Mongkok people." T. Liu

Like an Abortion, for the Very First Time

To Liu
Hong Kong SAR China / 2018 / 102 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
Incoming
It’s 4903 km to the Czech town of Aš, but in Logar, Afghanistan, the main distance that the Czech team is trying to overcome is cultural. Talking heads ponder how to pass on know-how in a country wracked by 30 years of war, but more than once a siren tears the filmmakers and main protagonists back to reality, and there follows a far more dynamic spectacle. “Every day, we travel to hell. We put on vests and ballistic eyewear. We look like robots. We step out of those enormous vehicles like aliens.” In such a situation, taking off your helmet is an act of courage and humanity.

Incoming

Radim Špaček
Czech Republic / 2013 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
(T)ERROR
Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a former Black Panther member, is now working for the FBI. His task is to discover signs of terrorism in American Muslim communities. This reportage captures the dimension of paranoia that exists in the USA’s security police in the best tradition of the American investigative reporting style. The director reveals undemocratic principles underpinning the functioning of American democracy.The attempt to uncover a crime before it occurs becomes an exercise in chasing phantoms, leads to a distortion of facts, and spreads feelings of fear amongst often innocent people.DETAIL:“Do you think your present right now is in any way related to your past?” “Well, I don't have a past, I don't even wanna make bring it back up. I really don't.”

(T)ERROR

David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral
United States / 2015 / 84 min.
section: First Lights
Central European Premiere
Noiseless, Desert Extras
Since the dawn of cinematography, the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate has been a lively center where extras for films with an Arabic theme are found in abundance. This poetic documentary, intentionally using acknowledged staging, shows how the electrifying energy of film flows through the local population. In this “game for real”, the filmmakers deconstruct film as an imitation of life, but one that becomes more than real for the interviewed film extras. This story presents the totality of moving images from a location where you would definitely never look for it."We are concerned about ideologies and fantasies that shape singular communities. In Noiseless we decided to build pictures with the extras of Ouarzazate to reflect on cinema's illusions." G. Lepore, Maciek and Michał Madracki

Noiseless, Desert Extras

Michał Mądracki, Maciej Madracki, Gilles Lepore
Poland, France, Morocco / 2017 / 64 min.
section: First Lights
European Premiere
Show!
A surprisingly intimate portrait of how the dream of running one’s own business can take on monstrous contours. Managed by the father of one of the singers, over the course of five years the girl band 5Angels had reached the gates of pop fame. But it is a path paved not only with the songs of Michal David, but also with the dogged determination of a man who loses any notion of where his role as manager ends and his role as parent begins. An emotionally moved Karel Gott, five angelic girls, and one overly involved father, thanks to whom the behind-the-scenes pre-Christmas atmosphere melts away just as rapidly as the fat should disappear from the belly. “A singer can’t be a lard bucket!”

Show!

Bohdan Bláhovec
Czech Republic / 2013 / 69 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
I Remember Nothing
As Tunisia experiences revolutionary unrest, Diane tries to come to terms with manic-depressive symptoms so intense that she nearly loses her memory. Five years later, she comes across the diverse records – photographs, diaries and home videos – that she kept during thi time of crisis. She then transforms these documentary materials into a tool by which she captures the seemingly lost fragments of memory. Nevertheless, her goal is not to weave these fragments into a holistic narrative, but to preserve their fluidity in order to present the chaotic events that made the chasm between the public and the private unimaginable."This is the story of a broken memory locked on a harddrive. I wanted to look at the pieces of the puzzle - footage, sounds. To face the black holes. Remember. Show the violence of this inner storm." D. S. Bouzgarrou

I Remember Nothing

Diane Sara Bouzgarrou
France / 2017 / 59 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
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Město Jihlava
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