25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Capital in the 21st Century
director: Justin Pemberton
original title: Capital in the 21st Century
running time: 103 min.
In the more than six hundred pages of his best-selling Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty explores why the one-sided accumulation of capital leads to increasingly greater social inequalities and the transformation of a democracy into an oligarchy. Director Justin Pemberton has taken this book, rich in graphs, numbers and complex economic terms, and transformed it into an energetic audiovisual lecture, which, with the contribution of leading economic experts, explains the history of the complicated relationship between power and prosperity. This alluring kaleidoscopic collage humorously exposes the weaknesses of capitalism and points out what we may lose if we fail to reverse current developments.
“While we were making the film, I thought of Capital as a wild animal that can be really destructive when it’s just left to roam and follow its instincts but actually can be tamed and used for good and under the right circumstances.” J. Pemberton
New Zealand director and producer Justin Pemberton (1971) has degrees in psychology and broadcast communications and was involved in filming television documentary series and video clips. His first feature-length documentary, Love, Speed and Loss (2005), is a portrait of the New Zealand racer Kim Newcombe. He focused on other prominent sports personalities from his native country in the docudrama The Golden Hour (2012) and the documentary film Chasing Great (2016).
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other films in the section
What Louie Palu experienced during the four years he spent covering the war in Afghanistan as an independent reporter exceeds the possibilities of photography. A montage of images, diary entries, commentaries, and authentic video footage creates a bleak document with an atmosphere as inhospitable as the Afghan landscape. This film may serve as a catharsis even for its makers.
Louie Palu, Devin Gallagher
Canada / 2015 / 76 min.
East European Premiere
This film has a 500 views limit. At the turn of 2017 and 2018, Greenpeace launched a campaign to establish a natural reserve encompassing 1.8 million square kilometres of the Weddell Sea near the coast of Antarctica. It is one of the coldest bodies of water on Earth, boasting one of the best preserved biotope. Javier and Carlos Bardem, two ambassadors of the initiative, take us with them to watch the efforts of ecologists and scientists to protect this unique natural wealth and to explore exciting happenings in the field of activist environmental policy in the age of information and the post-factual where new tools need to be employed to raise awareness and reach mass support.
Spain / 2019 / 74 min.
This investigative documentary explores Stuxnext – a top-secret cyberattack engineered by Israel and the USA against Iranian nuclear facilities. In addition to presenting a collection of facts and interviews with experts, it also reveals the information search process. The film very forcefully draws attention to the power of computer weapons and the risk of a global cybernetic war.
United States / 2016 / 116 min.
This documentary portrait explores the life and works of the Austrian author Peter Handke (1942). Through interviews, quotes, and archive materials Corrina Belz takes a look at the life and thoughts of this famous artist. She has created an empathic and inspirational film about the perception of reality and how it is transformed into a work of art, initiating questions about how one should live.
Peter Handke - In the Woods, Might Be Late
Germany / 2016 / 89 min.
From June to November 2019, acclaimed Chinese director Zhou Bing filmed massive protests of Hong Kong residents against the law of extradition, and conceived his film as a monumental presentation of a historical turning point of “free” Hong Kong. Using various documentary material from the protests and numerous drone shots, he was able to create a professionally fine and well-edited mosaic of opinions of seven different people who, despite the fact that their subjective truths may dilute the essence of the fight against the dictatorship in People’s Republic of China, show the meaning of their fierce and (temporarily) victorious struggle for democracy. „We filmed seven Hong Kong people during three months. The protagonists including a front-line protestor, a First-Aider, a taxi driver, a local tea house owner, a police force, a district councillor and a young girl who participated in the election. They live in the same city but have different lifestyles and values. I tried to record their story from a calm and objective angle, in a direct film way.“ Z. Bing
Hong Kong Moments
Hong Kong SAR China, Germany / 2020 / 90 min.
In a collage of private scenes and fragments of medialized events as part of the “war on terror”, Guli Silberstein uses his typical method of digital image degradation with the help of compression algorithms to draw attention to the actual process of remediating images and thus in two way raises questions as to their representation, credibility, and the emotions that they can carry.
Stuff As Dreams
United Kingdom / 2016 / 6 min.
The clitoris mainly serves for female pleasure and has long been ignored by modern medicine until recently. While a woman's body has always been considered an erotic symbol, a woman's sexual desire has always been considered less important than a man’s or even taboo. Biologist Stacey Dutton, queer activist Coriama, designer Ti Chang, and artist Sophia Wallace point out how cultural, political and religious norms ruled by patriarchal society have led women to suppress their own desire. Each of them tries to demystify the established perception of female sexuality and, thus, end phallic dominance. Because without the equality of pleasure, there can be no equal society. „The Dilemma of Desire is a film that connects the consciousness of clitoral facts -- THE TRUTH -- with a female empowerment that is way beyond sexual satisfaction.“ M. FinitzoQ&A with the director Maria Finitzo:
The Dilemma of Desire
United States / 2020 / 108 min.
On November 8, 2018, one spark was enough to start a fire on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which was one of the most devastating fires in California history. The fiery hell left 85 victims and more than 60,000 hectares of scorched land. The town of Paradise was also reduced to ashes. In the emotional documentary by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, the surviving residents return to the place of destruction to overcome the trauma of losing their homes and face their uncertain future. Together with them, we experience a year of despair, facing the untamed element, and the hope and determination to start anew and rebuild the lost paradise. „Well, I’d never been, you know, around anything like that, that sort of total devastation. And that in and of itself was shocking to the nervous system. And then to see and begin to interview people who, you know, had experienced the rug completely pulled out from under them, what was going to be left for them. And that became our story. And it’s also something that they wanted to talk about. They wanted to share that footage. They wanted people to understand that as we saw these individuals, make some pretty remarkable decisions and take these steps toward actually trying to rebuild their lives and this community, we would never forget that, you know, in their recent past was this harrowing experience.“ R. Howard
United States / 2020 / 95 min.
Central European Premiere
This documentary captures the moments when the colleagues of Trisha Brown (1936), the choreographer who changed the face of post-modern dance, pass on their knowledge to a new generation of dancers. The film reveals the magical world of innovative and captivating movement, which requires a large dose of imagination, concentration, and deep feeling in every part of the body.
In the steps of Trisha Brown
France / 2016 / 79 min.
The provocative thesis that people who commit evil can be accused only of the stupidity with which they follow orders and of possessing a dull and stunted consciences is one of philosopher Hannah Arendt’s best known and radical ideas. This biographical documentary looks at her interesting personal life in the turbulent 20th century.
Vita Activa - The Spirit of Hannah Arendt
Israel / 2015 / 124 min.
This narrative documentary, containing a large volume of period materials, tracks a group of Chilean economists who were influenced by their study of Friedman’s neoliberalism in the USA. They helped to shape Chile as Latin America’s economic crown jewel during Pinochet’s regime. This controversial economic experiment has led to the current social unrest in the country.
Rafael Valdeavellano, Carola Fuentes
Chile / 2015 / 85 min.
East European Premiere
Like many citizens of the Soviet Union at the time, Lithuanian seaman Simas Kudirka believed that a better future awaited him in the West. On 23 November 1970, when the Sovetskaya Litva he was on passed by the USCGC Vigilant, he decided to take advantage of the opportunity and jumped no less than three metres from the Soviet fishing boat onto the US Coast Guard patrol boat. This bold attempt of his to obtain political asylum caused social upheaval and prompted some very important dialogue between the two world powers. The dramatic re-enactment of this curious incident also reveals how radically the US government’s attitude towards refugees has changed since the Cold War.Q&A with the director Giedrė Žickytė:
Lithuania, Latvia, France / 2020 / 85 min.