28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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director: Adéla Špaljová, Tomáš Etzler
original title: Nebe
country: Czech Republic
year: 2021
running time: 71 min.


Tomáš Etzler worked for seven years as a foreign correspondent in China. He came to know a country that was developing at an admirably fast pace, was swayed by its energy, and for a moment believed that modernity could bring about political change as well. Before long, it dawned on him that many people would continue to be severely punished, and the regime would still keep most of the nation in a state of indecision and ignorance. Without neglecting that face of China today, Etzler chose to tell a story of hope in his personal documentary. Using the example of an orphanage for disabled children, he shows that the answer to collectivist brutality and ruthlessness can be mutual assistance, tolerance and empathy.

“I don't like communists, I think communists everywhere in the world are criminals.” (Tomáš Etzler)


Tomáš Etzler (1963) served as Czech Television’s correspondent from 2006 to 2014. He has also worked as a foreign reporter for CNN in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, he was the first Czech journalist to receive an Emmy. He presented his documentary debut Heaven in Ji.hlava in 2019 as a work in progress.

more about film

director: Adéla Špaljová, Tomáš Etzler
producer: Jan Macola
script: Tomáš Etzler
editing: Adéla Špaljová
sound: Ivo Špalj, Ivan Horák
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas