26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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On the Edge of Diplomacy

On the Edge of Diplomacy

original title: Na hraně diplomacie
country: Czech Republic, Slovakia
running time: 120 min.


A series of dialogues featuring clips from a pilot for a new documentary series of the same name that’s in the works and explores diplomatic practice and geopolitics.


The core of this documentary is a series of meetings between ex-foreign minister and diplomacy expert Cyril Svoboda and world leaders who share no common culture with us, often coming from different political backgrounds with undemocratic institutions and different political values. Why and how do we communicate with them? Well, that’s the undertaking of diplomacy. These films reflect two levels of diplomatic practice. The first is of a formal nature: what the preparations and circumstances of a summit look like, what an ambassador’s role is, what the accompanying rituals are plus everyday moments and obstacles. The second level is a reflection on geopolitics associated with transcultural contacts. The first part of this docuseries follows Mali - the largest country in Central Africa where two military coups have been staged in the past two years. And yet, despite that, the West still maintains close contact with the local regime led by self-appointed president Colonel Goita - a spokesman for moderate Islam that represents a more stable opportunity for peace and development in an otherwise impoverished country plagued by raids by Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations who, since the onset of the Libyan Crisis, have been caught in northern Mali, Mauritania, and the surrounding areas. There are also several military missions in the country, some with significant Czech participation. The co-creator of the project and main protagonist Cyril Svoboda, former diplomat and long-time Chairman of the Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting Petr Pospíchal (project consultant), content manager of documentary projects at RTVS Ondrej Starinský, content manager at the Czech Television in Ostrava and the creators of this documentary Vít Janeček and Zuzana Piussi will all take part in the debate. Clips taken from filming in Mali will show the various aspects of the diplomatic mission, including the previously mentioned protocol moments as well as visits to see key representatives in the country, including the Malian Salafi imam Mahmoud Dicko, Archbishop Jean Zerbo, the informal situation with ambassadors of major world powers and the EU, plus other key figures.

Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Kudy z nudy