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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Between Us
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Between Us
Between Us
Between Us
Between Us

Between Us

director: Dorota Proba
original title: Między nami
country: Poland
year: 2020
running time: 52 min.

synopsis

Various forms of partnerships, love, and intimacy are examined in a detailed empathic study by a young female director. The film is riddled with themes of a lack of freedom, emotional scars from previous relationships, cheating, and gender fluidity. With the help of structured conversations between three couples, who read each other questions prepared by the director, and archival footage of their everyday family and romantic life, we gradually get a comprehensive picture of a contemporary love life. 

 

"Marcel: What are you most afraid of? 

Carolina: Spiders. And that you’ll end up leaving me.

from Between Us (32:00-32:06)

Q&A with the director of Between us Dorota Proba:


biography

Dorota Proba was born in 1989 in Montreal. She studied scenography at the Warsaw Academy of Arts and completed a documentary film course at the Wajda School. She studied on a scholarship in Turkey and Indonesia. She is the creator of video clips, documentaries, and animated films and has worked as a set designer with a number of Polish theatres. The film Between Us was awarded Best Polish Film at the 2020 Docs Against Gravity film festival in Warsaw.

more about film

director: Dorota Proba
producer: Ewa Jastrzebska, Karolina Mroz, Jerzy Kapuściński, Wojciech Marczewski
script: Dorota Proba
photography: Weronika Bilska
editing: Katarzyna Orzechowska

other films in the section

Among Houses and the Cosmos
In this sensual film essay, the director has assembled her experiences with rituals in various corners of the world, from Europe across Africa to Latin America. The close interaction of the camera with bodies moving in trances encourages active involvement in the frenzied moments in which people lose themselves in Dionysian intoxication. These moments serve the filmmaker to obliterate the distance between the individual and the collective, personal and foreign, internal and external. The film, however, attaches a political meaning to the rituals, or rather shows how uprooted cultures cope with their minority status through rituals, or even turn it to their favor. “I felt the urgency to work with video footage from years of different travels. During editing, I found myself thinking about the human necessity to impose meaningful patterns on life and being.” Koštana Banović

Among Houses and the Cosmos

Kostana Banović
Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Senegal, Brazil, Angola, Turkey, Gambia, Cuba, Serbia, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles / 2016 / 70 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
noimage
FilmKALEIDOSCOPE uses the aesthetics of cell phone cameras, which the director used after he was diagnosed with angina and his doctors recommended fast walking. He has transformed the 3,000 kilometers he walked over three years into a collage of playful, experimental, and lyric moments and family and social situations, all seen with a sense of tenderness and irony.

A Cell Phone Movie

Nedžad Begovič
Bosnia and Herzegovina / 2011 / 63 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
Winter / Miracle
This allegorical docufiction provides the viewer with a lightly meditative and at the same time modern impression of the Christian holiday while paying witness to the transformation of the sacral space and the holiday’s religious message. The film’s anonymous protagonists from opposite sides of the world discuss the paths of their faith in this visually stylised and stylistically edited film. Czech viewers will be entranced by the final church crossover: The wild beach scene is underscored by the song Crazy for You, Jesus, which can be heard at gathering of the Czech sect known as the Triumphal Centre of Faith. The film itself concludes at just such a gathering. 

Winter / Miracle

Željka Suková, Gustavo Beck
Croatia, Denmark, Brazil / 2012 / 60 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
noimage
FilmORACLE captures the emotionally complicated relationship between a young Israeli and his Cambodian girlfriend. He earns his living reading cards on the nighttime streets of Phnom Penh, while she succumbs to alcohol. Together, they care for their children, although they are incapable of taking care of themselves. Within the protagonists’ everyday existence of love and fighting, the film shows their solitude and their doubts, as well as the difficulty of choosing between cultures.

Phnom Penh Lullaby

Pawel Kloc
Poland / 2011 / 103 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Cain´s Children
Three men, each from a different corner of Hungary. Their fates, their worldviews, and their living conditions differ, but they nonetheless have something in common: when they were very young, each of them killed someone and then suffered for years in prison. How do people who spent critical moments of their adolescence in the difficult conditions of a detention center come to terms with committing a crime and living their lives afterwards? As an answer, this film offers a chilling, visually compelling treatment of beings on the edge of society, whose crippled lives are cracked like the linoleum that one of their mothers futilely attempts to piece together in her crumbling home. DETAIL:People thought I was a psychopathic animal. But they didn’t laugh anymore.

Cain´s Children

Marcell Gerő
Hungary, France / 2014 / 104 min.
section: Between the Seas
East European Premiere
A Two Way Mirror
This poetic documentary presents one woman’s journey towards finding self-confidence, inner peace, and harmony. The filmmaker returns to Croatia’s Lika region, where her family comes from. In the bosom of nature, she tries to come to terms with the losses she has suffered in her life, her illness, and her fear of the future. The film is structured into six parts (prologue, spring, summer, autumn, winter, epilogue), each linked to a different stage of human life. It is a very open and intimate confession, framed in a mosaic of memories and experiences, thoughts and feelings. The film is also therapeutic, helping the filmmaker find the strength to fight. The film received the Croatian Oktavijan Award for Best Documentary Film. “Every fear comes with the reason. To cure my fears I merged secret patterns and knowledge of my family with the cycles of nature. Through this collision I revealed what is the human in beasts and the beastly in humans.” Katarina Zrinka Matijević Veličan

A Two Way Mirror

Katarina Zrinka Matijević
Croatia / 2016 / 42 min.
section: Between the Seas
European Premiere
TEACH
The personality of a rural Transylvanian math teacher who teaches his students at home and ignores the existing curriculum, tells us not only about the Romanian school system, but also about society there as a whole. The stubborn elder man follows the words of essayist Constantine Noica, who believes that in an ideal school, there should not be any lessons, but rather students should go there to free themselves from the tyranny of learning. The observational portrait documentary monitors the dynamics of the lessons themselves, where, in addition to mathematics, the problem of education itself is addressed and where the teacher acts like a father fi gure.“I think that if you really want to make something matter within 100 years from now, then you have to educate people first.” A. Brendea

TEACH

Alex Brendea
Romania / 2019 / 82 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
Landscape Zero
This observational documentary, interwoven with staged scenes, introduces the issues associated with the co-existence of nature, people and industry along the shores of the Adriatic Sea. With purely visual resources and without any commentary or dialogue, the director presents the real story of local inhabitants, who are portrayed for the camera by professional actors. This unsettling environmental appeal against civil passivity is suggestively demonstrated through static shots composed around a central point.  The target of the unspoken yet obvious thoughts consists of the consequences of imprudent interventions in the landscape, which have a direct impact on the daily life of society. Their critical nature is enhanced by the detached ambient sounds and subtle background music. „The title can be interpreted as the landscape of industrial disaster. However, the meaning of the title goes beyond ecology; it could also serve to interpret the anthropological context of the relationship between human beings, nature and culture, industry and activist ecology.” B. PavićYou can watch the director’s introduction HERE Q&A with the director Bruno Pavić:
personal program

Landscape Zero

Bruno Pavić
Croatia / 2020 / 71 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
The 727 Days Without Karamo
This film revealing the senseless nature of Austria’s immigration policy towards inhabitants of the Third World is more than a mere critique of the system. Director Anja Salomonowitz uses intimate stories of mixed couples/marriages to show the power of love. The film’s protagonists are composed into long, static shots that all share a unifying element – yellow. The film finds its emotional core in children’s rooms, since it is here that the young protagonists are at the mercy of mothers in love and the authorities; watching a 10-year-old girl pray for her father to return from Africa sends a chill down our spines.

The 727 Days Without Karamo

Anja Salomonowitz
Austria / 2013 / 80 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
When New Year Comes on Shabbat
A cinematic collage about people caught between two worlds. An empathetic look at a physical journey and the melodramas of a journey that is spiritual. Nikita Pavlov emigrated from Russia to Israel because he always wanted to experience life in another country. Street protests, political activism, and his daughter’s first steps are captured without any chronological context, separated only by Pavlov’s thoughts and ideas. A cinematic diary that attempts to piece together a hypothetical picture of the filmmaker’s future.  

When New Year Comes on Shabbat

Nikita Pavlov
Russia / 2012 / 83 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
This is a war, baby
Without showing any explicit battle footage, this film nevertheless manages to show the life of Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers on the Donetsk front. Images of ruin and destruction from places that only recently were the scenes of fighting are transformed into a tragicomic parable of survival in a provisional space-time. Looting is a daily occurrence, and going out in search of booty becomes a boyish adventure during which the participants explore places only recently inhabited by private individuals. And when all this is recorded by a Polish television crew headed by a canny female reporter, an existential satire is born. The war is there, but somewhere around the corner."The most difficult thing for me in creating this film was the choice between my personal sympathies and the desire to present the most objective picture of the war I saw in front of me." Y. Pupyrin

This is a war, baby

Yurii Pupirin
Ukraine / 2017 / 59 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
The Forest
At the center of this Romanian-Serbian co-production is the amazing story of an art historian in search of a painting that Romania’s prime minister gave to Josip Broz Tito in 1947. The painting of a forest with fallen leaves had been made by a renowned Romanian artist in the 19th century – and the forest is where Tito spent World War II as a partisan fighter. Romanian-Yugoslav relations under the Soviet bloc followed the same absurd path as the search for a reason for this gift. A playful cinematic study dedicated to a detail in the painting while exploring a great and serious historical subject.DETAIL:“Over night, the new friendship with comrade Tito fell. Following his disputes with Stalin, all the communist bloc was forced to proclaim Tito the worst enemy of communism. The newspapers were filled with caricatures...”

The Forest

Siniša Dragin
Romania, Serbia / 2014 / 73 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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