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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Don’t Give Up: In the Thrall of the Woods

director: Tomáš Netočný
original title: Nedej se: V zajetí lesů
country: Czech Republic
year: 2018
running time: 26 min.

synopsis

The current, widespread bark beetle infestation shows clearly that the spruce monoculture in the Czech landscape is a great problem. And yet, spruces are being replanted in places where forests should never be. The illegal planting of forests is a trend that people involved in environmental protection have been observing for several years now. Owners of land classified as meadows and pastureland are planting woodlands, primarily spruce, in defiance of the law, thus driving out endangered species of plants and animals, changing the traditional character of the landscape, and making it less attractive for visitors. 

more about film

producer: Lenka Poláková
script: Tomáš Netočný
photography: David Rojíček
editing: Tomáš Pchálek
sound: Ondřej Černý, Milan Sýkora

other films in the section

The Crimean (Pen) Insula
A documentary look at this current political issue presents unique scenes of life in the annexed territory where foreign journalists and television crews are not allowed. The film is a mosaic portrait of several men and women, whose everyday lives have been affected by the political crisis between Ukraine and Russia. Just as international pressure and sanctions have made the Crimean peninsula a de facto island, so too are the supporters and opponents of Russian annexation isolated (pen)insulas in search of their identity within the sea of a divided society. 
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The Crimean (Pen) Insula

Jaroslav Kratochvíl
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
Don’t Give Up: Hope for the Arhuaco
The Arhuaco are an indigenous tribe that has resisted fate for more than 400 years, but that today, because of the advanced technology of mining companies, politicians’ arrogance, and the spread of tourism find their existence threatened. Their houses are demolished by giant bulldozers. In July 2017, some 180 families were forced from their homes, and today they live in squalor in a park in the town of Puerto Bello. Their sacred sites have been burned. In response, an organization was founded in the Czech Republic to try to help the Arhuaco purchase their original lands, so that they can return… 
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Don’t Give Up: Hope for the Arhuaco

Iva Tereza Grosskopfová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
In Mosul
Shock therapy through front-line reporting. Documentary filmmaker Jana Andert spent eight months with an elite unit of the Iraqi army on the front lines of the battle for Mosul, which was occupied by Islamic State fighters from 2014 to June 2017. A fearless report from a city in ruins, robbed of its soul by one of the greatest catastrophes of our times.
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In Mosul

Jana Andert
Czech Republic / 2018 / 70 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Don’t Give Up: Every Bike Has Two Souls
The Bikes for Africa charitable project has been operating in the Czech Republic since 2012. Its mission is to offer African children a way of getting to school. The project is founded on the principles of giving, volunteerism, cooperation, and people’s personal initiative. One interesting paradox is the fact that the project involves people from the margins of society (prisoners, homeless people), who recieve a “second chance,” thus giving the project not only a humanitarian, but also an environmental dimension involving the “ecology of the soul.” The film shows all these aspects of the project, set against the journey of one particular bicycle donated by a Czech girl to her Gambian peer. 
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Don’t Give Up: Every Bike Has Two Souls

Martin Homan
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The Family of Alois Rašín
Alois and Ladislav Rašín, who paid for their lives for their patriotic endeavors, did not get the recognition they deserved, and after the communist takeover in 1948 their names were erased from memory. Their forgotten lives are now recalled in a historical docudrama featuring Alois Rašín’s great-granddaughter Karolina Breitenmoser. 
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The Family of Alois Rašín

Jiří Svoboda
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
Stubborn Architect Martin Rajniš
Martin Rajniš, the “enfant terrible” of Czech architecture, refuses to accept the current state of his field and of society in general. He is just as “terrible” as the French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who designed Washington, D.C., for President Thomas Jefferson. According to one version, the expression “enfant terrible” was inspired by the fact that L’Enfant was extremely difficult to work with. Today, however, it often describes someone original, daring, and direct. The documentary captures Rajniš’s inspirational approach and his working process – both at his studio in Prague and at his country cottage in the village of Maxov in the Jizera Mountains.
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Stubborn Architect Martin Rajniš

Roman Vávra
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
Brothers Beyond the Grave
Their parents came to Czechoslovakia in August 1968 along with the occupying forces. Today, these “children of Milovice” find themselves on opposing sides in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. These “brothers,” destined for “friendship for all eternity,” are now shooting at one another. How do the children of the former officers stationed in Milovice see the contemporary Czech Republic and Russia? 
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Brothers Beyond the Grave

Martin Jazairi
Czech Republic / 2017 / 59 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The People’s Militia
A look at a forgotten chapter in modern Czech history. The “armed fist of the working class,” formed from various factory guard units on the instigation of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, began operating under the guidance of the Central Union Committee in May 1945. After the communist takeover in 1948, the People’s Militia was sent upon orders of the Communist Party to “defend” the borders or to act against students, farmers, the church, demonstrators protesting the currency reform. Their actions against anti-regime gatherings in 1969 resulted in several deaths. They also acted brutally during the demonstrations in Prague in 1988 and 1989.
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The People’s Militia

Jan Rousek
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
That Moment: Classmates Among the Tanks
Fifty years ago, they lived through the invasion of Czechoslovakia; now they revisit moments captured on film. Věra Křesadlová and her young sons quickly left to be with her husband Miloš Forman in Paris. Petr Semerád witnesses soldiers shooting into crowds of people by the main radio station in Prague. Czech Television’s documentary series on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 invasion was inspired by the popular Israeli series Capturing the Moment, which has been adapted in eight different countries.
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That Moment: Classmates Among the Tanks

Zdeněk Tyc
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Czechs Save… Antelopes in Senegal
The largest antelope in the world, the giant eland, lives in the Senegalese savannah and is on the verge of extinction. Its numbers hover somewhere around the last two hundred individuals. A team led by engineer Karolína Brandlová has managed something unprecedented: At the Bandia Reservation just a few kilometers from the country’s capital, they have succeeded – through careful breeding and with the help of Senegalese preservationists and the operators of a local safari – to turn a group of just six antelopes into a herd numbering several dozen animals. The second episode of a documentary series hosted by Dan Bárta about endangered animals throughout the world.
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Czechs Save… Antelopes in Senegal

Zdeněk Suchý
Czech Republic / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
From Love to Hatred 2: Domestic Violence on Men
After its successful documentary film featuring interviews with five abused women, Czech Television takes a look at another side of domestic violence. The stories of the film’s four male protagonists show that although the methods of violence are similar, the victims’ are in a much different position: Violence against men is usually questioned, and their partners, however manipulative and aggressive, are in a much more advantageous position, since the men, as representatives of the supposedly stronger sex, are generally not believed. The film is the first ever documentary to look at this socially taboo subject. 
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From Love to Hatred 2: Domestic Violence on Men

Štěpán Romuald Rob
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
King Skate
Sticking to the asphalt. Zipping through space. Everything in motion. Skateboard! In the gray atmosphere of 1970s and ’80s communist Czechoslovakia, it was something completely new and different. Love at first sight. A never-ending party. Adrenaline. Cult figures of the era’s skateboard scene tell their stories of broken bones, unbroken friendships, and wild rides towards freedom amidst communism.
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King Skate

Šimon Šafránek
Czech Republic / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
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