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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Slav Epic Complex
Slav Epic Complex
Slav Epic Complex

Slav Epic Complex

director: Jan Strejcovský
original title: Komplex Epopeje
country: Czech Republic
year: 2017
running time: 55 min.

synopsis

A fantastic epic. A nationalist construct. Ideal for taking a selfie. A bunch of paint on a canvas that belongs on the junk heap. Anachronism. A transcendental experience. Working with the playfulness of the cinematic medium, the filmmaker takes us on a tour of the serious world of art, and gives voice to a theorist, an art restorer, a philosopher and a Japanese fan of Mucha.

biography

Jan Strejcovský is a student at FAMU’s department of documentary film. The Ji.hlava IDFF showed his previous student films Igor’s Great Emotion (2012) and Impotence of Power (2014) in the years they were made.

more about film

director: Jan Strejcovský
producer: Jakub Wagner
photography: Filip Marek
editing: Michal Bohm
sound: Matous Sys, Jakub Jurásek

other films in the section

Bazin's Film
Film theorist André Bazin yearned to shoot a film about the churches of the French province of Saintonge. Several decades later, Pierre Hébert presents a reconstruction of Bazin’s dream in an animated documentary film that is also a philosophical meditation on the relationship between architecture and cinema. 

Bazin's Film

Pierre Hébert
Canada / 2017 / 70 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Czech Premiere
Almost Nothing
The film Almost Nothing presents a behind-the-scenes look at CERN, the Center for Nuclear Research. Through interviews with theoretical physicists, technicians and other employees, the everyday operations of the organization and its cafeteria are revealed while discussing the most important questions about the universe that science is currently engaged in. 

Almost Nothing

ZimmerFrei, Anna de Manincor
Italy, France, Belgium / 2018 / 77 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
East European Premiere
...When You Look Away
During Young’s interference experiment, electrons behave differently when they are being observed. Working with this axiom of quantum physics, the filmmaker set out to explore aspects of the human consciousness that cannot be described by science. Along the way, the question arose: Does water communicate when people don’t see it?

...When You Look Away

Phie Ambo
Denmark / 2017 / 84 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Czech Premiere
Cinecitta Babilonia
Cinecittà, the “city of film” on the Tiber River, produced over 300 films for Mussolini and gave the people a galaxy of film stars. This documentary combines historical facts with fictional testimony by acting icons to conjure up an image of the Italian factory of dreams as a product of propaganda and capital, as well as reveals the relationship between fascism and Hollywood.

Cinecitta Babilonia

Marco Spagnoli
Italy / 2017 / 73 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
East European Premiere
Panic  Attack
The faster pace of life in modern society has among other things led to an increase in the prevalence of panic attacks and anxiety disorders. A composition of details torn from context, accompanied by commentary from victims of panic attacks demonstrates the various ways in which they are manifested and draws unsettling conclusions.

Panic Attack

Ernesto Ardito
Argentina / 2017 / 76 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
European Premiere
The Bit Player
A mixture of documentary and live action film, The Bit Player is a multilayered portrait of Claude Shannon, the man who invented the word “bit” to describe a unit of information and whose scientific work laid the foundations for IT and artificial intelligence. Through interviews with members of the scientific community, archival footage, and reenactments, the film presents the life and professional story of this forgotten genius who, in addition to his groundbreaking discoveries, also produced numerous strange and useless inventions and enjoyed juggling and cheating at games of chance. The film shows Shannon’s theories and technical ideas using animations easily understood by everyone. "Claude Shannon should be a model for everyone in any creative field. He never lost his child-like curiosity. Sometimes it revolutionized the world; sometimes it made a flaming trumpet." M. Levinson
personal program

The Bit Player

Mark Levinson
United States / 2019 / 90 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Central European Premiere
Every Tear
Armed with an ancient microscope invented in the 17th century by textile merchant Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the filmmaker travels through her native Brussels exploring everything she can get her hands on. The long series of subjective macro-details of strange shapes is accompanied by citations from van Leeuwenhoek’s letters.

Every Tear

Sarah Vanagt
Belgium / 2017 / 30 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
East European Premiere
Song of a Seer
Dominique Batraville, a Haitian poet, journalist and actor, sits in his modest abode and reads. After a minute, he lies and continues in reading. This slowly narrated but impressive documentary presented his person to us by static, often detailed shots, combined with his own monologues and quotes from others.

Song of a Seer

Aïda Maigre-Touchet
Canada, France, Haiti / 2018 / 72 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
East European Premiere
Tell Me about the Stars
A group of fifteen scientists head for Antarctica where they’ll spend 13 months, during which time they’ll study the skies from the best place on the planet. The film diary of one of the team members reveals glittering plains of snow, black nights full of stars, as well as isolation, frustration, and the longing to escape back to civilization.

Tell Me about the Stars

Jonathan Millet
France / 2017 / 56 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World Premiere
Camorra
Camorra is an Italian criminal organization operating in Naples and all throughout Campania. Its rapid expansion from initial smuggling to powerful organized crime mobs that trade drugs, weapons, and people has also influenced how the entire city and region evolved. The film edit uses contemporary film footage, news television reports, police photographs and newspaper headlines to depict the lives of the people there, the practices of criminal mob bosses and the overall atmosphere of the city. In this way, it delivers an exceptional comprehensive film report on one of the most powerful mafia organizations.  “Camorra is set in a specific historical moment, late 60s – early 90s, to convey not only emotions and information in a non-didactic manner, but to use the past as a mirror of the present as well.” F. Patierno     
personal program

Camorra

Francesco Patierno
Italy / 2018 / 70 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Czech Premiere
Badiou
Alain Badiou, born in 1937 in Morocco, demonstrated his exceptional skills in many fields of science, but became famous as a philosopher. The directorial duo the Kaylan brothers made their first feature film about Badiou, in which the philosopher himself talks about his work and personal life and presents his thoughts.

Badiou

Rohan Kalyan, Gorav Kalyan
United States, France / 2018 / 81 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World Premiere
Making Babies
Today, thousands of children are born thanks to the involvement of third parties in laboratories. This documentary analysis tracks the motivation of clients who use reproduction clinics, the ambitions of doctors, and the unsaturated market for assisted conception methods. One question remains hanging over the open topics: Where does the reproductive freedom of an individual end?

Making Babies

Barbara Burger
Switzerland / 2017 / 82 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
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Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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