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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Lust for Power
play
The Lust for Power
The Lust for Power
The Lust for Power
The Lust for Power
The Lust for Power
The Lust for Power
The Lust for Power

The Lust for Power

director: Tereza Nvotova, Tereza Nvotová
original title: Mečiar
country: Slovakia, Czech Republic
year: 2017
running time: 89 min.

synopsis

In recent Slovak history, there’s hardly a more significant figure than Vladimír Mečiar. Director Tereza Nvotová approaches him from several different directions. One is an interview that she conducted with him directly, another is his narrative monologue that presents Slovak history against the backdrop of his own family history, and finally through archival images of Mečiar’s public appearances in the media. Her film, accompanied by aerial images of the Slovak landscape as it appears today, poses the question of what Mečiar meant for the her generation, for society at the time, and for Slovakia in general.

“When I was 10-years-old, we´d make believe that we were E. T., Winnetou or Mečiar. Now I want to find out who he really was and what he has done to us and to our country because now I see the same story playing out all over the world.“ T. Nvotová

The film is being screened in cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic.

biography

Slovak director Tereza Nvotová (1988) graduated from FAMU and debuted her first feature length documentary Take It Jeasy!, a Czech production, at the 2008 Ji.hlava Film Festival. She also contributed to the Czech Television series Báječná léta bez opony (2009) about successful personalities of the post-communist era. This year she shot her fiction film debut Filthy, on the topic of rape.

more about film

director: Tereza Nvotova, Tereza Nvotová
producer: Zuzana Mistríková, Ľubica Orechovská, Tereza Polachová, Pavel Strnad, Kateřina Černá, Zuzana Mistríková, Ľubica Orechovská, Tereza Polachová, Pavel Strnad, Kateřina Černá, Johny Galvin
script: Tereza Nvotová, Josef Krajbich, Tereza Nvotova, Josef Krajbich, Barbora Námerová
photography: Martin Žiaran
editing: Josef Krajbich
music: PJONI -
sound: Radim Hladík jr.

other films in the section

Coast of Death
Northern Spain’s Galician coast has been considered a boundary since antiquity, a place where the land ends and life meets eternity. Later, it came to be called the Coast of Death, because its wild cliffs sealed the fate of many a ship. At the beginning of the 21st century, however, director Lois Patiño interprets the “Costa da morte” as a disconcerting symbol for modern man’s un-heroic struggle over the shape of the landscape and the exploitation of natural resources. The filmmaker’s seemingly indifferent camera and mosaic of long, well-planned shots represent an angst-ridden introspection of his fears as to the outcome of this struggle.

Coast of Death

Lois Patiño
Spain / 2013 / 84 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Albertine Gone
This updating of the sixth part of In Search of Lost Time explores the current identity of Proust’s book. Through a staged docu-fictions with elements of performance art, the filmmaker strips the text, quoted by an employee of a fire station, of its period references, thus giving it new attributes. Since 1993, Véronique Aubouy has been filming people reading various parts of Proust’s masterpiece of literature. The planned date of completion for her monumental project, which sees the protagonist as an object in a cinematic landscape and the book as a signpost of various interpretations, is in 2050."Since my discovery of Proust’s Recherche I'm convinced  that this book is an expression of the Here and now. When I met Jean, fireman, nurse anaesthetist who had read la Recherche during his night guards, the film was there, here and now." V. Aubouy

Albertine Gone

Véronique Aubouy
France / 2018 / 34 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Chasing after the Wind
In recent years, the Getsemaní neighborhood in the Colombian town of Cartagena has evolved from a dangerous and crime-filled area to an attractive tourist center. The film nevertheless attempts to capture the neighborhood’s old spirit, as embodied by the 60-something Gustav, whom the camera follows on his nighttime wandering through the town and his occasional musings (sometimes drug-influenced) on God, death, drugs, and the natural order. For the most part, the camera keeps close to Gustav’s body, following him through long shots while exploring the play of the nighttime lights on his skin.DETAIL:“Religion for me... the best exercise it has. But the best thing religion has to offer for me is confession. By doing this they can clean up their rubble. One of the things that make people feel most relieved is when they throw out their rubble.”

Chasing after the Wind

Juan Camilo Olmos Feris
Colombia / 2014 / 61 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
I Crossed the Hallway
A personal probe deep into the memories of a death. During the night, the director lost his father at his family home. He crossed the hallway, entered his parents’ bedroom, and his mother said, “Your father is dying.” The shock of this trauma plunges El-Amine into a state of absolute apathy. He wanders blankly through the house as memories of times spent together come back to life. Painful moments alternate with stylized commentary by relatives about the events of that night. The feeling of loss is projected onto many minor details in the film. The cacophonous musical soundtrack is as deafening as grief. Once again, film becomes a tool for coming to terms with death. “Time is no more than a constant renewal in I Crossed the Hallway. The film is a long road, a long corridor, which gives ways to either reality or dreams or souvenirs.” R. El-Amine

I Crossed the Hallway

Rabih El-Amine
Lebanon / 2017 / 38 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
La Perla, about the Camp
Many ask themselves if it is at all possible to give an account of the horrors of concentration camps. Director Pablo Baur reached the conclusion that this type of representation is possible, however only if there is a radical departure from the dominant form of film language. He divided his film essay about the former Argentinian concentration camp La Perla into 19 sections, each of which treats the formal resources in its own distinct way. We encounter various views of the location in question, ranging from 180° panoramic shots of the surrounding landscape, to black-and-white figures providing absurdly detailed information about the institution’s daily operations. Taken together, they do not form one comprehensive portrait, but rather a network of mutually interwoven discourses.“My city harbored a concentration camp and I am not indifferent to that. I seek to offer my viewpoint, a viewpoint committed to the real.”

La Perla, about the Camp

Pablo Baur
Argentina / 2016 / 60 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
De Sancto Ambrosio
The opening ten-minute sequence of the film raises a question whether something is about to happen or not. Nothing much is going to happen, though. Workers are working at a building site, kids are playing, tourists are sightseeing, a wedding and a funeral are in progress, followed by images of empty streets and perspectives of building rooftops – in brief, a microcosm. The film shows the town from a totally different perspective, laying out fragments of life of seemingly totally uninteresting people who simply go about their existence. The camera is set in motion without the passersby even noticing since it has been put in a strategic elevated spot. The whole movie consists purely of bird’s-eye view shots."I always had a fascination to go up the building's rooftops to contemplate the city. Spending one year on a medieval bell tower was like being in a time machine which made time into something tangible." A. Di Bias

De Sancto Ambrosio

Antonio Di Biase
Italy / 2018 / 50 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Taego Ãwa
Tutawa Tuagaek, the ageing leader of the Ãwa, a Brazilian indigenous tribe, is one of the last survivors of the 1973 massacre of Indians in the Amazon jungle. This team of filmmaker-ethnographers records his everyday life in the company of young followers, to whom he is trying to pass on his experiences. The Indian community’s everyday rituals are contrasted with found photographs and video clips that offer rare evidence of the atrocities that Tutawa recounts. Different epochs and visual formats create a continuum that reveals the traumatic history of an oppressed people who have managed to survive despite all odds."The imagination is not only mediator between understanding and sensibility, it has its own dynamism, scheme free, organized bodies, constituted individuals, fixed identities, consolidated psyches."

Taego Ãwa

Henrique Borela, Marcela Borela
Brazil / 2016 / 75 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Touch
A highly subjective film essay that highlights the constructed nature of any work of art and of perception in general. After many years, a man returns home to New York’s Chinatown, where he recounts the story of his life and that of his dying mother in two languages. A film full of radical transitions between silence and words.“Chinatown is divided into two overlapping tribes: the watchers and the watched.” “I wanted to be photographer. I became a librarian cataloguing other people‘s lives, while secretly inventing my own.”

Touch

Shelly Silver
United States / 2013 / 68 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
We Make Couples
A multi-layered reflection intertwining types of domestic skirmishes with the ones we have within society. It relies on a number of central themes, such as the depictions of faces, touches, projection, or exploding light. It formulates arguments about production (relationships), forms of resistance (against restrictions), systems for organizing the way we see things (ourselves and each other), about ways we project (ourselves to others), about personal and industrial relationships, expressions of beauty (and politics) in an age when “intensity is more important than endurance”. Using montage and rhythmically brilliant collage essays, the filmmaker combines found and his own materials.“The cure for loneliness is solitude.” (Marianne Moore)

We Make Couples

Mike Hoolboom
Canada / 2016 / 57 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
We Went to War
In 1970, the documentary I Was a Soldier about American soldiers who had recently returned from the war in Vietnam explored an open wound. Its continuation, We Went to War, shows how that wound is healing after more than 40 years. It follows the same three men from Texas as the first film, except that the young men with recent traumatic experiences are now old men who have been shaped by those experiences.  

We Went to War

Michael Grigsby
United Kingdom, Ireland / 2012 / 77 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Same River Twice
The two filmmakers who set out in the footsteps of Scottish discover John McGregor describe their film as a road movie. In 1869, McGregor undertook a trip along the Jordan River. Where McGregor sought spiritual renewal, the filmmakers use interviews and random encounters to explore Israelis’ relationship to their homeland.With the Jordan, Heracleitus’ famous statement about rivers could describe the various ways in which people see it. According to the filmmakers, Palestine is never mentioned in the film, and yet it flows through it like an undercurrent.

Same River Twice

Amir Borenstein, Effi Weiss
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section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Time Splits in the River
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Time Splits in the River

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Taiwan / 2016 / 89 min.
section: Opus Bonum
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