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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

I Am Not Your Negro
Samuel L. Jackson narrates this audiovisual presentation of a never-finished manuscript by the eminent American writer and activist James Baldwin. This stirring history of the struggle of African-Americans against white supremacy is presented from the perspective of disbelieving amazement that such a thing could have ever happened and is actually still ongoing.

I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck
United States, France, Belgium / 2016 / 93 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Czech 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 Other Side of Mars
Every day, Vandana Verma travels across the face of Mars, taking pictures of its surface – all the while never leaving a NASA laboratory in Pasadena, California, from where she controls the Curiosity rover. This engrossing essayistic documentary joins her and other experts in space research in meditating over images of a planet located tens of millions of kilometers from Earth. Mars thus becomes the ideal place for studying our paradoxical relationship to photographs and for contemplating whether images from space (or also from various places on our planet) present us with reality or whether they actually create an alternate reality that we should approach far more cautiously. “Martian imagery reveal as much about our relationship to images as they tell us about Mars itself. This film aims to make the spectral quality of. an image materialize in front of us.” M. Långström
personal program

The Other Side of Mars

Minna Långström
Finland / 2019 / 55 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Central 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
...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
Near and Elsewhere
In fictional sequences inserted into this documentary about economic, social and political perspectives on possible upcoming developments, the filmmakers portray a utopian future as a foreign territory. Six public figures from various cultural and social circles reflect on the future as a matter of time, people and the world.

Near and Elsewhere

Sue-Alice Okukubo, Eduard Zorzenoni
Austria, Germany / 2018 / 84 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
World 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
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
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
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
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
In the Realm of Perfection
An essay study on the possibilities of combining sports and film. Using traditional French film theory and philosophy, the director analyzes the sports performances of American tennis legend John McEnroe captured on 16mm film. The film offers a contemplation on the relationship between duration (durée), the passage of time, and motion.  

In the Realm of Perfection

Julien Faraut
France / 2018 / 95 min.
section: A Testimony on Knowledge
Czech Premiere
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