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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Mečiar

Mečiar

director: Tereza Nvotova
original title: Mečiar
country: Czechoslovakia
year: 2013
running time: 40 min.

synopsis

The symbol of a divided Czechoslovakia. An authoritarian autocrat whom everyone has forgotten about. The film follows Vladimír Mečiar in his retirement, in villa, alone. His two opponents watch him on film. Where did Slovakia’s schizophrenia start?

In his Villa Elektra, Mečiar is building his own little Slovakia: Hlinka, Jesus, and sausages. Privatization, kidnappings, and the night of long knives. What really happened in Slovakia in the 1990s?

more about film

director: Tereza Nvotova
photography: marek brožek
editing: josef krajbich
sound: igor baar

other films in the section

Capital Cuba
Intercut footage of the camera panning along two sides of Havana Bay. Every few seconds, our act of viewing is disturbed for several seconds as the camera shifts from one side to the other. The rhythm of this panoramic view is determined by the editing. The 12-minute film invites the viewer on an experimentally filmed journey by boat from Old Havana to Casa Blanca.DETAIL:The sound of waves. The camera’s gaze shifts from the dark-blue surface of the water to the shoreline. An abandoned industrial building and lazily floating boats along the shore represent tools for transforming the abandoned bay.

Capital Cuba

Johann Lurf
Cuba, Austria / 2015 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Nevermore
The quick and instinctive process of action painting creates a large-format black-and-white picture whose splatters, splashes, scratches, drips, and brush strokes bring to life excerpts from the poem The Raven, which – like a magic incantation amidst an abstract chaos of sounds and words – accompanies the artist’s inimitable physical performance. Images of a concentrated face, a tin can, and paint-covered fingers. A venose hand that guides the paint dripping from the wooden spatula. The squinting eyes of an open mind. The pace quickens, and the urgency of the voice increases the tension of the creative moment blessed by the work of art.

Nevermore

Jan van IJken
Netherlands / 2013 / 3 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
The Horses of a Cavalry Captain
This politico-aesthetic essay is based on found footage from the filmmaker’s family archive. The horrifying parallel between horse breeding and the Nazi racial ideology takes on sharp contours thanks to the dry commentary and the montages of seemingly meaningless, coldly real images, which do not allow the film to drop down to the level of a mental or emotional exploitation of the topic.

The Horses of a Cavalry Captain

Clements von Wedemeyer
Germany / 2015 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Mum, I'm Sorry
The only things they left behind were their personal belongings. They speak volumes about what kind of people they were. What they liked. Who was close to them. What hobbies they had. A film without words. Footage of objects belonging to people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the island of Lampedusa in 2013 and 2015 - people whose lives were extinguished for good.

Mum, I'm Sorry

Martina Melilli
Italy / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
Butterfly Disaster
Extinction of monarch butterflies in the US became a topic of a film based on manipulation of found footage. The director adjusts archival recordings of butterflies or planes spreading fertilizers through double exposure, scratching, colouring and so don, coming up with a purely visual micro-essay asking who is really the pest and who is the infested in this ecosystem.
personal program

Butterfly Disaster

Caryn Cline
United States / 2019 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Pampa del Istmo
“(Where) do the places we remember exist?” asks Camila Ausente in the opening of her ten-minute documentary search for an answer to this question. The film combines repeating images from Mexico with oral memories of her father's childhood in Argentina.

Pampa del Istmo

Camila Ausente
Argentina, Mexico / 2018 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
It all came to pass, All fell into my hands like a five-petalled leaf, But there has to be more
In a Moscow apartment, Andrei Tarkovsky’s sister and brother-in-law remember the famous filmmaker. A film-collage consisting of family photos, visual impressions, narrative scraps, and vague and confusing memories reveals neglected fragments from the life of the Russian artist against a background of ambient music.
personal program

It all came to pass, All fell into my hands like a five-petalled leaf, But there has to be more

Sergei Sviatchenko, Noriko Okaku
United Kingdom, Denmark / 2018 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
The art of flying
This black and white film depicts the movement of flocks of birds, a sequence of shots captured during a mild winter when migratory birds stayed in the Netherlands. Every evening they swarmed over the plains, creating moving ornaments in the sky.DETAIL:More and more birds join the huge flock, pouring through the skies like water in a vacuum, a spectacular thing to see, one that the participants are utterly unaware of.

The art of flying

Jan van IJken
Netherlands / 2015 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
Always Here
This film presents the pragmatic downside of live sex websites through following the performing partners during their breaks between sex acts. The voyeuristic eye of the webcam captures trivial arguments between partners, political discussions, and the boredom and tired resignation of people trapped in a virtual aquarium.DETAIL:“Don't slap me, it hurts. I am a small girl and it hurts me as well.” “You are quite something. You are hypocrite. Do you think when you slap me it doesn't hurt? Do you know how much those fucking scratches hurt me?”

Always Here

Steffen Köhn
Germany / 2015 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Calling Ukraine
An older woman living in Latvia regularly Skypes with her sister and daughter, who are stranded in the war zone in Eastern Ukraine, helplessly listening to their woes. Close-ups of her troubled face alternating with photographs from her family archives testify to the impact of armed conflict on specific human fates.DETAIL:“In some neighbourhoods people have been hiding in basements since August 3rd. Without water. Without electricity. We had electricity for 24 hours. And then the Ukrainian army blew it up again.”

Calling Ukraine

Jean Counet
Netherlands / 2015 / 12 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
25572 Buettel
Early spring. Bare trees, a river bend, ripples like fish scales, a thundering barge on the horizon. Wind turbines slice the time as they imitate the sound of fighters over a monument to the fallen heroes. 25572. The food hung in bags from the windows of housing containers is a tangible reminder of the provisional conditions and an unmistakable sign of the life for which they fought. “…from a distance, the smell of cheap flowers + steel + belongings afflicted by the storm on the next day: my fatherland”. Only a brief, modest shot of the names of the fallen. A pink spring blossom, intense sounds, and high-tension wires as proof that the world of the living balancing out the sacrifice. 

25572 Buettel

Rainer Komers
Germany / 2012 / 5 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
The Red Carpet
In this uniquely positive film, young Rubina is a dealer of the happiness experienced within the conditions of the slum – a wonderful place to be born if you don't mind that malaria isn't always such a great thing. A probe into an anthill full of wide-eyed children, contented dirt, sewing machines and trash, from where one can make it all the way to the Oscar ceremony. Houses like scattered, torn, and rain-soaked cardboard boxes under the palm trees. Children in the streets and hidden alleyways, on the train tracks, in such numbers that nobody dares to purchase chocolate to hand out to the poor children; there would be too much.

The Red Carpet

Iosu López, Manuel Fernández
Spain, India / 2012 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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