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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Stubborn Architect Martin Rajniš

director: Roman Vávra
original title: Klackovitý architekt Martin Rajniš
country: Czech Republic
year: 2018
running time: 52 min.

synopsis

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.

more about film

director: Roman Vávra
producer: Lenka Poláková
script: Roman Vávra
photography: Roman Vávra
editing: Michal Cuc
sound: Michael Míček, Ivan Horák

other films in the section

Czechs Save… Antelopes in Senegal
The largest antelope in the world, the giant eland, lives in the Senegalese savannah and is on the verge of extinction. Its numbers hover somewhere around the last two hundred individuals. A team led by engineer Karolína Brandlová has managed something unprecedented: At the Bandia Reservation just a few kilometers from the country’s capital, they have succeeded – through careful breeding and with the help of Senegalese preservationists and the operators of a local safari – to turn a group of just six antelopes into a herd numbering several dozen animals. The second episode of a documentary series hosted by Dan Bárta about endangered animals throughout the world.
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Czechs Save… Antelopes in Senegal

Zdeněk Suchý
Czech Republic / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
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.
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That Moment: Classmates Among the Tanks

Zdeněk Tyc
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
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.
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Infiltration: The Health Business

Šárka Maixnerová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 62 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Neptune
This black-and-white film combines re-enactments with original footage from Operation Neptune, one of the Czechoslovak secret police’s first attempts at media manipulation, during which a group of reporters comes across secret Nazi documents at the bottom of a lake. The film’s focus, however, is on the struggle between a skeptical journalist and a high-ranking police official, and the failed attempt at revealing the state-sponsored disinformation.
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Neptune

Adéla Babanová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 38 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
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? 
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Brothers Beyond the Grave

Martin Jazairi
Czech Republic / 2017 / 59 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Don’t Give Up: In the Thrall of the Woods
The current, widespread bark beetle infestation shows clearly that the spruce monoculture in the Czech landscape is a great problem. And yet, spruces are being replanted in places where forests should never be. The illegal planting of forests is a trend that people involved in environmental protection have been observing for several years now. Owners of land classified as meadows and pastureland are planting woodlands, primarily spruce, in defiance of the law, thus driving out endangered species of plants and animals, changing the traditional character of the landscape, and making it less attractive for visitors. 
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Don’t Give Up: In the Thrall of the Woods

Tomáš Netočný
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
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.
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The Russian Job

Petr Horký
Czech Republic / 2017 / 64 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
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. 
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Don’t Give Up: Every Bike Has Two Souls

Martin Homan
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Don’t Give Up: Hope for the Arhuaco
The Arhuaco are an indigenous tribe that has resisted fate for more than 400 years, but that today, because of the advanced technology of mining companies, politicians’ arrogance, and the spread of tourism find their existence threatened. Their houses are demolished by giant bulldozers. In July 2017, some 180 families were forced from their homes, and today they live in squalor in a park in the town of Puerto Bello. Their sacred sites have been burned. In response, an organization was founded in the Czech Republic to try to help the Arhuaco purchase their original lands, so that they can return… 
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Don’t Give Up: Hope for the Arhuaco

Iva Tereza Grosskopfová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
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.
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King Skate

Šimon Šafránek
Czech Republic / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
In Mosul
Shock therapy through front-line reporting. Documentary filmmaker Jana Andert spent eight months with an elite unit of the Iraqi army on the front lines of the battle for Mosul, which was occupied by Islamic State fighters from 2014 to June 2017. A fearless report from a city in ruins, robbed of its soul by one of the greatest catastrophes of our times.
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In Mosul

Jana Andert
Czech Republic / 2018 / 70 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
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