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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Marie
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Marie
Marie
Marie
Marie

Marie

director: Letiția Popa
original title: Marie
country: Romania
year: 2018
running time: 32 min.

synopsis

The director’s purely observational camera enters the home of a family living in a village in the Danube Delta, where the birth of another girl arouses more tension stemming from the uneasy life of the extended family. In her short film, the director thematises a conflict between generations of three women reliant on each other, while Maria, a ten-year-old girl who has to take care of her younger sisters, comes into focus. In the timelessness of traditional rural relationships, shown in a slow pace of everyday life, Maria’s childlike innocence is exposed to harsh orders of her grandmother who requires respect and proper conduct.

“What drove me to Iordana was curiosity. So I allowed myself to be surprised by their world, in order to be able to deconstruct their reality.” L. Popa

biography

Letiţia Popa (1997) received her bachelor’s degree in direction at the National University of Theatre and Film in Bucharest. The short documentary Maria is her debut. The film was presented at the Romanian Astra Film Festival in 2018, where it won the award for best student documentary direction.

more about film

director: Letiția Popa
producer: Letiția Popa
script: Letiția Popa
photography: Letiția Popa
editing: Carina Pușcașu
sound: Andreea Nedelcu

other films in the section

Last Knights of the Right Side
Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny – the National Radical Camp – ONR. The last knights defending the right in Poland. An extremist neo-Nazi group defending the values of nationalism and true faith. This focused collection of scenes showing the executive apparatus of power honestly and consistently uses trust and opportunities to take a look behind the scenes at the organization of marches, meetings with citizens, and even volunteer efforts to collect clothing for the elderly. In precisely composed shots, the atrocious leap from the Warsaw Uprising to genocide, to a modern day Kristallnacht, is interwoven with the intimate confessions of the protagonists. Snapshots from the life of these mercenaries of hate reveal the ideology of the right-wing extremism that has taken control of public space in Poland.You can watch the director’s introduction HERE.Q&A with the director Michał Edelman:
personal program

Last Knights of the Right Side

Michał Edelman
Poland / 2020 / 67 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Mother. Gabriele. Television.
Some consider television to be just a marginal entertainment, but for others it’s an essential part of everyday life. The film follows two friends - social actresses - who entertain themselves by participating in various TV shows. Their lives seem very empty, and they can only find happiness in the TV shows. 

Mother. Gabriele. Television.

Lucia Kašová
Slovakia / 2018 / 28 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Heavy Metal
In this documentary, we are not going to discover anything about the eponymous musical genre but instead will meet a group of workers dismantling a high-rise building made of concrete and metal. The filmmakers observe and register their labour using ingenious, visually stunning images, sometimes joined into several composition plans.

Heavy Metal

Eugene Golovanevsky
Ukraine / 2018 / 47 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Time is
The freezing environment of a depopulated Chechen village during the harsh winter months is in stark contrast to the warmth of a traditional, Slavic, country home where a mother lives with her daughter and tabby cat. Everyday activities and simple rituals like embroidering, watching television, or shelling sunflower seeds can easily be disrupted by the unexpected arrival of a former resident who returns to her native village after a long period of absence. This aesthetically pleasing and captivating film calmly introduces the viewer to the simple life of Chechen peasants, acting as a melancholic suspension of modern, hectic times that have hardly affected the protagonists in the film.   “In my camerawork, I like to play with light and silhouettes. This comes from the time when I was still living in Chechnya. In the evenings, we had to turn off all the lights to avoid snipers and bombings. As army trucks passed by, their headlamps shined against the walls, forming intriguing shadows.” Z. Kourazov, Interview 2018   Q&A with Zaur Kourazov:  
personal program

Time is

Zaur Kourazov
Belgium, Russia / 2020 / 20 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Ars Moriendi - The Art of Living
A sensitive film portrait tells the life story of 93-year-old Rosemarie Aschenbach, revealing the world of her thoughts. After a number of life setbacks, she was able to free herself and is now writing her dissertation in philosophy. The ordinariness of life contrasts with the richness of her opinions on life and death.

Ars Moriendi - The Art of Living

Kristina Schranz
Germany, Austria / 2018 / 30 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
East European Premiere
Herding
This student-made documentary from the Kyrgyz Mountains region is a sensational viewing experience thanks to its interplay of form and content. Captured in the cinematographic style of a shaking image from a handheld camera, episodic moments such as milking goat milk and bathing in a healing spring in the middle of a pasture compose an authentic record of the life of local herdsmen, who must lead their herds to graze through the pasture despite the adversity of the elements working against them. In its clarity, the film's unkempt style, shot in the mountains above Lake Issyk-kul, allows it to reflect on nature and naturalism.   „In childhood,I helped my brother drive the horses from the village to the mountains after I had good memories,then when I studied directing at the documentary film courses i chose this topic after.“ E. Omurbekov       

Herding

Erlan Omurbekov
Kyrgyzstan / 2019 / 19 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Take them into the light
The Făgăraș Mountain in the northern part of the Eastern Carpathians in Romania. The camera is concealed at the heart of an avalanche. Sunlight is a symbol of rescue. The daily work of the mountain rescue service oscillates between the omnipresent threat of death, the chilling beauty of the mountains and the endless efforts to save human lives. The solidarity of mountain pilgrims permeated by not only a sense of freedom but also hopelessness during the search for twisted bodies and brain tissue buried under tons of snow. The closeness of death as a fascinating path leading towards God.You can watch a short introduction from the director Ioanna Grigore HERE.Q&A with the director Ioanna Grigore and editor Cristian Georgescu :
personal program

Take them into the light

Ioana Grigore
Romania / 2020 / 32 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
The Drop
Like other miners, Chyngyz works twenty four hours under difficult conditions of the confined space of a shaft where miners risk a lot all the time. Although they work in fear for their lives, they are grateful for the work in the mine because it allows them to feed their families. The observation camera moves from stylized pictorial compositions of a morning journey to the mine to long sequences following the movement of miners in the shaft and their routine work to show their fate in an intense and immediate composite image.“One of the heroes of this film reenacts the famous pose in film Titanic, he wants to be Jack. He sings as he asks for raindrops when the time of love comes.” E. Tashbaeva

The Drop

Elnura Tashbaeva
Kyrgyzstan / 2019 / 20 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
A Well-Kept Secret
The small Estonian village of Soonlepa is home to its last three residents – a witch, an artist, and a philologist. All their lives will change when Aino the witch is diagnosed with cancer. This melancholy film captures everyday life in an abandoned village with interviews full of memories of youth and discussions of art and poetry. 

A Well-Kept Secret

Mihkel Oksmann
Estonia / 2018 / 25 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Daily manure
Pigeons are sitting down on the roof of a dilapidated farmhouse; a truck is dumping old bread on a pile; cattle is running around among the cars at the scrapyard; goats are grazing in the vicinity of large shipping containers... The leitmotif of the documentary is the fact that unprocessed foods are used as fertilizers and feed material for livestock, and the film shows one of the forms of agriculture in the 21st century in a series silent prose scenes. The slow pace and cyclic variation of the same stylistic parameters evokes the poetics of decline and decomposition. “In the course of four seasons, I'verecorded a place where our overproduction ends up. A cemetery where leftovers devour the leftovers.  The never ending cycle of crestion and demise.” N. Krutilová

Daily manure

Nikola Krutilová
Czech Republic / 2019 / 24 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
We are epicenters of the earthquake
The earth is scorched; trees are dying; species are becoming extinct; rivers are drying up. Human interventions have thrown the ecosystem off balance. The irreversible changes will have a devastating impact. A trip of a young urban couple to the country provides a base for a spontaneous poetic contemplation on dried-up landscape and mankind's environmental grief. Nature has ceased to be a relaxing place. Looking at nature can cause anguish. In this film about contradictions of ecological awareness, the ability to articulate such grief, be it through a prosaic statement or poem, meets the inability to let go off one's thoughts and feelings, to think outside the box and act on it.  
personal program

We are epicenters of the earthquake

Tomáš Hlaváček
Czech Republic / 2020 / 40 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
There Will Be More Springs to Come
On average, the population of Lithuania is twice as poor as it was ten years ago. A contemplative film comprises scenes of a girl harvesting and selling strawberries during five years of economic and political changes in Lithuania. The film is about the circle of life and the market, and the influence of national economics on human existence.

There Will Be More Springs to Come

Neringa Starkevičiūtė
Lithuania / 2018 / 27 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
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