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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Bulletproof

Bulletproof

director: Todd Chandler
original title: Bulletproof
country: United States
year: 2020
running time: 83 min.

synopsis

The film opens up the topic of safety in public American high schools in response to the country’s frequent school shootings committed by armed students. While sports games, homecoming, and prom remain traditional high school rituals as always, a new set rituals have become commonplace: school lockdown drills, bag checks when entering the school, and even firearm training for teachers. The film approaches the deep, systemic problem of mass murders caused by racial and economic inequality among adolescents in American society, while also exploring the unimaginable fear for many European viewers that you can actually get shot in math class.


“We’re doing everything we can to harden the infrastructure to keep people from getting in, but what keeps me up at night is that the wolf is in the henhouse. The threat always comes from inside.“ Bulletproof, (15:30–15:50)

biography

Todd Chandler is an American filmmaker and artist and works as a teacher at the Film Department of Brooklyn College in New York. In his documentaries and gallery installations, he tackles socio-political issues in the USA. He won the Award for Emerging International Filmmaker for his film Bulletproof (2020) at the Hot Docs Festival in Canada.

more about film

director: Todd Chandler
producer: Danielle Varga
photography: Emily Topper
editing: Shannon Kennedy, Todd Chandler

other films in the section

The Metamorphosis of Birds
Catarina’s mother died when Catarina was 17 years old. Jacinto lost his mother prematurely as well. Catarina is the director of the film, Jacinto is her father, and together, they tell their family history, marked by the resistance against the fleetingness of time, in a poetic dialogue. The film combines documentary and fiction – the story of Beatriz and Henrique and how they fell in love, had a wedding and six children together. As a sailor, Henrique spent a lot of time away from home, so his wife took care of the children mostly herself. Ttheir eldest son Jacinto has been dreaming of becoming a bird since his childhood...“The question of metamorphosis is linked to the idea of how the character portraying my father in the film, transforms into me.” C. Vasconcelos
personal program

The Metamorphosis of Birds

Catarina Vasconcelos
Portugal / 2020 / 101 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Irving Park
Irving Park is a neighborhood in Chicago where the film's four lead characters live together under one roof. But their cohabitation has a rather unusual arrangement – they are all aging gay men practicing dominant-submissive relationships. This time-lapse film gets right in the middle of the action of this abnormal household, and through a seemingly primordial provocation that seems only natural and commonplace, such as long conversations from the Lord and his naked slaves, the film enables a sense of family reciprocity, unsolvable crises and daily inhabitation. As one of the cast members admits: we all live in acceptable relationships of domination and submission.

Irving Park

Panagiotis Evangelidis
Greece / 2019 / 117 min.
section: Constellations
Central European Premiere
Honeyland
An ageing beekeeper in the rural Macedonian mountains strives to maintain the tradition of honest, environmentally friendly beekeeping. Her quiet everyday life – caring for the colony and selling honey in a nearby town, the untiring care of her mother, living off their farm without electricity – is interrupted by the arrival of nomadic beekeepers, who perceive nature primarily as an opportunity for profit, a way to break free from their poverty. The filmmakers spent three years with the heroine of the film, shooting over four hundred hours of material which became the basis of this melancholy environmental appeal, lyrically depicting the immaculate beauty of nature.

Honeyland

Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska
Macedonia / 2019 / 85 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Corporate Accountability
The Argentine Ministry of Justice encouraged research resulting in a thousand-page report on crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship in 1976–1983. The generally not very well-known content of the report can be heard from the mouth of the director who reads it in his car parked in front of twenty-five, mostly still functioning companies that used to denounce trade unionists and left-wing workers in exchange for their own profit. Illustratively brings evidence of thousands of missing people, hundreds of murders and countless cases of torture caused and links between dictatorship and capitalism.    „The ruling paradigm in Argentine justice focused within the State itself, and not outside of it.“ J. Perel  
personal program

Corporate Accountability

Jonathan Perel
Argentina / 2020 / 68 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Un film dramatique
For four years, the director has been meeting up with students of a film club at Dora Maar high school in the ethnically colourful city of Saint Denis near Paris, observing how the protagonists and filmmakers-to-be were growing up, looking for their roots and identity, finding a common form of their film in making that had supposed to be really about anything in the beginning. Through showing everyday banalities, the participants were learning to work with the language of film, constantly coming back with reflections on changing formats and contents of their intended work that was meant to become a metaphor of their own place in the world.

Un film dramatique

Eric Baudelaire
France / 2019 / 114 min.
section: Constellations
Central European Premiere
Irradiated
An archival memento of the horrors of war in the 20th century that delves into philosophical reflections on the nature of evil and the meaning of suffering. Raw images of prisoners in concentration and labor camps and victims of nuclear attacks are a chronicle of global human tragedy. The sensory and emotional experience is multiplied by a vertically divided image, which triples each shot. The dramatic content and Pahn’s stylistic quirkiness, however, are not an outright attempt to rattle the viewers’ cages. His philosophical essay, dedicated to documentary filmmaker and concentration camp survivor Marceline Loridan-Ivens, fights back against the contagion of oblivion that is spreading through the current infinitely changing and accelerated audiovisual landscape.     “Big media changes images every ten seconds. The next day, no one cares what happened yesterday. No one thinks about the consequences of what happened in the past.” R. Panh
personal program

Irradiated

Rithy Panh
France, Cambodia / 2020 / 88 min.
section: Constellations
East European Premiere
Present. Perfect.
Streaming has become an unprecedented hit in China with a commercial value in the billions. In 2017, more than 427 million people could not get by without sharing the details of their pre-camera privacy. Whether it be an incompetent street dancer, an adult man suffering from a genetic disorder that makes him look like a child, or a slacker working in an underwear factory. The director watched dozens of these “newsmakers” and from more than 800 hours of absolute mundanity, she put together a remarkable collective portrait of a generation for whom offline and online worlds are inextricably linked, showing a fascinating testimony about the pursuit of rapid success and the loneliness and mere killing of time.

Present. Perfect.

Shengze Zhu
United States, Hong Kong SAR China / 2019 / 124 min.
section: Constellations
East European Premiere
There will be no more night
Small silhouettes appear in the middle of the sights, observed from afar. They move quickly but they cannot escape the quick all-seeing eye. They are monitored all the time. Despite the apparent absence of the human element we are not watching an animated film or a computer game but authentic videos from Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian missions of American and French soldiers. The silhouettes belong to real people who are only a trigger pull away from death. This is the 21st-century warfare. Everyone who can be seen is under threat. Eléonore Weber used dehumanized images of dying for her chilling reflection of the modern form of war.Q&A with the director Eléonore Weber:  
personal program

There will be no more night

Eléonore Weber
France / 2020 / 75 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
This Movie is a Gift
A sensitive portrait of Daniel Spoerri that takes viewers not only to the workroom of this versatile artist, but also to his childhood spent in Romania where his father fell victim to the Jewish pogrom. In addition to Spoerri himself, his assemblages speak to them, breathing new life into various objects. They enhance the theme of rebirth around which the director constructed her own personal, fine-tuned film. - Daniel Spoerri (1930) is a Swiss visual artist and writer born in Romania. He is famous for his snare-pictures (tableau pièges), in which he places groups of objects found in chance positions onto a plane surface so that the resulting object can be hung up like a painting.

This Movie is a Gift

Anja Salomonowitz
Austria / 2019 / 72 min.
section: Constellations
East European Premiere
The Vasulka Effect
Art experimentation, image deconstruction, observation process. For over half a century now, the pioneers of video art Woody and Steina Vasulka have been exploring human memory, media memory and memory of art as an institution. A taste of life-long cohabitation of this partner and creative couple presents a personal story of a journey along places marked by their common fate: Brno, Prague, Reykjavik, New York and Buffalo. The odyssey of artistic fame of the living legends is put in contrast with their fragile social world and uncertain life perspectives. The heritage of video art is structured according to the texture of media of individual eras of film (35mm, video and hard disk). Fifty years of avant-garde saved on an external disk.

The Vasulka Effect

Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir
Czech Republic, Iceland, Sweden / 2019 / 87 min.
section: Constellations
International Premiere
Sapphire Crystal
Three places and three moments spent with the Geneva Golden Youth. For his documentary, the director organized a workshop with students from the prestigious HEAD School of Art and Design in Geneva to get to know the young men and women who are well-accustomed to a life of luxury and who like to kill time having long discussions in the nightclub, snorting cocaine and sipping champagne. The director sees the film as a highly subjective vision, a kind of pseudo-ethnological work in which some formal elements show hints of irony. Here he acts as an amused moralist and observer trying to break into a world riddled with lavish parties, drugs and all-pervasive vanity.

Sapphire Crystal

Virgil Vernier
France, Switzerland / 2019 / 31 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
The First Bridge
“Krāslava Bridge is the first bridge over the river Daugava in the territory of Latvia — a gate for the Daugava river from Belarus to Latvia” says the opening title of the film in which a strategically built and historically significant construction holds a number of different meanings. An analytical documentary immortalised in a series of suggestive, black-and-white, static shots and sounds brings us closer to the life of the bridge in all its heaviness and lightness from various angles: through the eternally flowing river it arches over, we witness the endless movement of car traffic and pedestrians walking between two river banks as well as the call of the wild within close proximity to the manifestations of human civilisation, for which it serves as a symbolic backdrop.     "The special thing about the documentary is the fact that we shot it on the leftovers of a 21-year-old 35mm negative. And it really worked. It looks great.” L. Pakalniņa    
personal program

The First Bridge

Laila Pakalnina
Latvia / 2020 / 11 min.
section: Constellations
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
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Český rozhlas
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