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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Cain´s Children
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Cain´s Children

Cain´s Children

director: Marcell Gerő
original title: Káin gyermekei
country: Hungary, France
year: 2014
running time: 104 min.

synopsis

Three men, each from a different corner of Hungary. Their fates, their worldviews, and their living conditions differ, but they nonetheless have something in common: when they were very young, each of them killed someone and then suffered for years in prison. How do people who spent critical moments of their adolescence in the difficult conditions of a detention center come to terms with committing a crime and living their lives afterwards? As an answer, this film offers a chilling, visually compelling treatment of beings on the edge of society, whose crippled lives are cracked like the linoleum that one of their mothers futilely attempts to piece together in her crumbling home.

DETAIL:
People thought I was a psychopathic animal. But they didn’t laugh anymore.

biography

Marcell Gerő graduated from the Film and Theatre Academy in Budapest. His thesis film Shock (2007) was the recipient of a number of awards at international festivals in Hungary and abroad. After completing his studies, he founded the production company Campfilm, and has worked as a director and producer on a number of documentary projects whose themes generally encompass people on the edge of society and members of minority groups.

more about film

director: Marcell Gerő
cast: Pál Pásztor, József Gábor Nagy, Zsolt Barcsai
producer: Marianne Dumoulin, Jacques Bidou, Sára László
script: Marcell Gerő, Sára László
editing: Sylvie Gadmer, Péter Sass
music: Dominque Gadmer
sound: Rudolf Várhegyi, Tamás Dévényi, Tamás Székely

other films in the section

Trapped By Law
In 2010, thousands of Kosovo Roma were forcibly repatriated from the European Union to their original home. And this despite the fact that many had spent years living in the EU. They had grown up there, studied there, some had even been born there. This engaged documentary follows the story of brothers Kefaet and Selami, rappers from Essen who, from one day to the next, find themselves in Kosovo, cut off from the rest of the world and from their family in Germany. The director does not remain neutral in recording their many years spent trying to get out of a trap of absurd and unfriendly laws, and to return from their native homeland to their real one.DETAIL:“We also had hard situations, you know, where we were maybe thinking about this, you know, to get separated, go separate ways, but no – In the end it was always just differences here and there, that you have to compromise with.”

Trapped By Law

Sami Mustafa
Kosovo, Germany / 2015 / 90 min.
section: Between the Seas, First Lights
World Premiere
The Chimney
In a cluster of houses outside town, in the shadow of an old chimney, there live several light-haired girls. This light portrait of a unique children’s microcosm consists of scenes from daily life, in which most of the time is spent exploring one’s surroundings, playing, and asking curious questions on various subjects. With her extreme sense for detail, the director convincingly captures the poetry of the everyday. The result is a fresh and humorous look at a world surrounded by vegetation, wrecked cars, and puddles that is ruled by spontaneity, playfulness and the immediacy of children’s logic.DETAIL:I will give you something. I will give you a bag, okay? Don’t lose it! There’s nothing in it.

The Chimney

Laila Pakalnina
Latvia / 2013 / 54 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
I Am In Space
Space travel again becomes the subject of pure amazement in this compilation documentary consisting of footage from international space flights from the past 30 years. We watch snapshots of the everyday life of astronauts, spontaneous fun in zero gravity, and pictures of the spacecraft as they are serviced by people in spacesuits. The footage is interspersed with short quotations in which the employees of space programmes discuss their relationship to life away from the Earth’s surface.  

I Am In Space

Dana Ranga
Germany / 2012 / 98 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Owner’s Portrait
A fable-like documentary composed of footage from different corners of the planet juxtaposes animals and humans like two separate yet connected universes. Virtually without speech, with a heavy emphasis on the audio component, it tells the story of an island of untamed cats and mysterious antennas that broadcast to the world on long-wave radio a call for liberation from the economic and social ties that bind us. Everywhere the radio waves reach, we see static shots of human bondage and animal freedom, and by linking these contrasting images, an Eisenstein-style montage emerges, with new cinematic meaning.„Everything started with an image in my head: a world without pets. That image became a documentary essay with a science fiction atmosphere, about freedom, work, domestic animals and societies in capitalism.“ J. Maito

Owner’s Portrait

Joaquín Maito
Argentina / 2018 / 80 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
In Praise of Nothing
“A whistleblowing documentary parody about Nothing.” That is how the filmmakers describe In Praise of Nothing. In fact, Nothing is the only protagonist of this essay-like film. An ironic and unflinchingly critical monologue, delivered in simple rhymes and with the voice of Iggy Pop, accompanied by captivating and succinctly expressive footage shot by several dozen people all over the world with the assignment to “shoot nothing.” „A cinematic equivalent to Erasmus’s humanistic classic In Praise of Folly, in which Folly goes around the world arguing it is smarter to be mad than smart. 500 years later, it is Nothing who gets the main role.“ B. Mitić

In Praise of Nothing

Boris Mitic
Serbia, Croatia, France / 2017 / 78 min.
section: First Lights
Central European Premiere
Monk of the Sea
Even today, seventy percent of the men in Thailand follow the old custom of spending at least a short part of their life as a Buddhist monk in a monastery. For Ball, the film’s protagonist, his two-week career as a monk is intended to serve as a symbolic steppingstone between his wild student life and more moderate adulthood. However, the reality of things is by far not so simple. Rafał Skalski’s staged documentary uses the example of Ball’s marginal experience to demonstrate the degree to which modern-day Thai society is based on the incompatibility between ascetic and hedonistic lifestyles, which the one-time transformation of the unrestrained young man into a monk cannot really conceal."To me, this is an instant kind of spirituality. We want to get a lot of things done in one go – quickly fall in love, make a career, be successful."

Monk of the Sea

Rafal Skalski
Poland, Germany / 2016 / 68 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Birthday
A lonely life made up of daily routine tasks is depicted in this documentary made by the director about his own mother. It’s her birthday – her husband has been dead for years and her children have forgotten her, with the exception of her son, who remains behind the camera. Despite this, the ageing woman cleans, cooks, and makes ready for a possible celebration. Cursory inspections of her mobile phone screen show that she would have been happy with just a phone message. Birthdays give new meaning to loneliness, just as the director cuts away various natural barriers of the camera image and amplifies the sound effects track to allow silence to emerge and envelop the main character."One day of any person is the summary of his life. What we feel in one day is the same for all our life. Nothing changes. Repetitions, Repetitions and Repetitions. Just like my mother on her birthday." H. Baydarov

Birthday

Hilal Baydarov
Azerbaijan / 2018 / 63 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
27 Times Time
Documentary filmmaker Annick Ghijzelings used her visit to Polynesia to shoot a personal meditation on the phenomenon of time. She slowed down the smooth flow of time in order to consider, in 27 short fragments, the various ways time can be represented. She does so by combining poetic narrative with images of the past and slow-motion shots of nature and local life. Gradually, she puts together a multilayered image of time that questions the boundaries between art, science, and philosophy, between advanced civilization and native cultures, and between the past, present, and future."The stories never subscribe to explanations or expert digressions. They are off-camera, barely pronounced, they are whispered in our ear like a secret between friends that beckons sharing."

27 Times Time

Annick Ghijzelings
Belgium / 2016 / 73 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
Tomorrow
“They declared war (vojna) on freedom, we declare freedom for Vojna”. Vojna has declared war on Putin’s Russia – this art group’s extreme events are a part of a complex attitude of radically questioning life in late capitalism, including the manufacturing and social relations of private ownership. From inside the Vojna art group, Andrey Gryazev uses diary-like footage to follow their street events and the radical and relentless struggle against the values of today’s Putinocracy, including the arrest and court trial of the members of a guerrilla unit.  

Tomorrow

Andrey Gryazev
Russia / 2012 / 90 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
God Straightens Legs
At the center of this observational documentary stands the director's mother, Renée, bedridden with an insidious disease. With respect for her mother’s devotional faith, the atheistic-minded filmmaker captures a woman who for religious reasons refused to undergo traditional chemotherapy and waits for a miracle between the walls of her bedroom . While outside the window of the woman's room life goes on day after day, the camera patiently follows the protagonist during her normal activities with which she whiles away the hours - watching TV, talking with friends, praying with a friend, meeting with nurses, as well as routinely cleaning the house."Dealing not only with the trauma of her diagnosis but also with societal reproach for her decision, I wanted to make a portrait of my mother without judgement, instead with empathy, curiosity and patience." J. Walinga

God Straightens Legs

Joële Walinga
Canada / 2018 / 67 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
Everything´s Gonna Be Fine
Producer Čestmír Kopecký had originally wanted to make a film about the changing face of Brno, but in the end director Robin Kvapil and co-writer Pavel Šplíchal created something more closely resembling Šplíchal’s ironic blog Prigl. In their “lovingly anarchistic” film, Brno forms the epicentre of a sarcastic look at Czech society. The naive and vacuous communist-era documentary with which Kvapil’s film opens gives way to the reporter’s bitter monologues right in front of the camera. These are intercut with acted sequences featuring Brno’s political elites, artists, and outcasts.“People say that Brno is the only joke that is inhabitable. The entire film follows this logic.” R. Kvapil

Everything´s Gonna Be Fine

Robin Kvapil
Czech Republic / 2017 / 71 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
The 727 Days Without Karamo
This film revealing the senseless nature of Austria’s immigration policy towards inhabitants of the Third World is more than a mere critique of the system. Director Anja Salomonowitz uses intimate stories of mixed couples/marriages to show the power of love. The film’s protagonists are composed into long, static shots that all share a unifying element – yellow. The film finds its emotional core in children’s rooms, since it is here that the young protagonists are at the mercy of mothers in love and the authorities; watching a 10-year-old girl pray for her father to return from Africa sends a chill down our spines.

The 727 Days Without Karamo

Anja Salomonowitz
Austria / 2013 / 80 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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