24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
director: Ivo Bystřičan
original title: Otevřená pevnost
country: Czech Republic
running time: 52 min.
synopsisThe film deals with events at Masaryk University in Brno during one academic year against the background of annual celebrations of historic events that helped to shape the academy’s present orientation. Through a large number of annual events and rituals with graduation ceremonies as their peak, the film asks questions about the continuity of university traditions and whether they still hold their original meaning: a quest to seek truth in the free world populated by students and professors. The film will be co-screened with Universities and Freedom. A Q&A session with guests is planned after the screening.
biographyScreenwriter and director Ivo Bystřičan (1980) deals with social and political issues. His films include: My Latest 150.000 Cigarettes (2013), Byeway (2014) or History of Disobedience (2017).
more about film
other films in the section
Dramaturge, screenwriter, and director Pavol Sýkora (1931–1970) was a central figure of Slovak documentary film in the 1960s. He worked as a dramaturge on documentary films at Koliba Studios. The selected films represent his most distinctive and original portraits. Besides an inclination for the reconstruction pioneered by Flaherty, Sýkora’s work is characterized by an attempt at achieving a maximum understanding of the subject free of embellishment, academism, and pathos, and without being didactic. The results are deeply felt portraits of man or explorations of inner experience, often without words.---Dílnu vede / The Workshop is led by: Martin Kaňuch
In honor of Arnošt and Jaroslava Hanibal’s wedding in September 1974, Ivan M. Jirous held the “First Festival of Other Culture” in Postupice, with the passive presence of the police. Performers included Old Teenagers, Sen Noci Svatojánské Band, Goldberg Grass Band, DG 307, Svatopluk Karásek, Charlie Soukup, and the Plastic People. The evening also featured a screening of Jan Ságl’s earlier films. The documentary opens with people gathering by the Rudolfinum in Prague, and also captures a part of the various performances. From the footage, it is evident that there were other cameramen present with 16mm film, making this one of the best-documented underground events.
Czechoslovakia / 1974 / 15 min.
We most commonly see Normalization era in Czechoslovakia – the time of social and political repression following the country’s invasion by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968 – through documentaries about dissidents or from old television series. But the dilemmas posed by the totalitarian regime affected everybody. The 16-part series Stories of the 20th Century explores various people’s (students, journalists, miners, secret police collaborators, soldiers, rank-and-file Party members, homosexuals, and many others) responses to the pressure they received not only from the government apparatus but also from those around them. ---Three films from the series will be presented by their writers and directors. Tři filmy představí a debatu o nich povedou režiséři a scenáristé cyklu.
Stories of the 20th Century
When a village mayor in the Shanxi province gets killed, one of the villagers is chosen by the police as a scapegoat. His drawings of the torture to which he was subjected to plead guilty to the murder he did not commit, yet for which he spent five years in prison, are a testament of police brutality in Shanxi.
China / 2016 / 73 min.
A glimpse into the extraordinary life of a person who far exceeded the conventional perception of what a scientist is: he walked barefoot through the countryside wearing a pilgrim’s hooded cloak, engaged in passionate discussions that lasted for hours, joked and laughed, always friendly, interested in talking to anyone about anything. Tomáš Škrdlant presents materials for the documentary film that they worked on together over the course of many years. Tomáš Daněk presents the scientific and philosophical works of Zdeněk Neubauer. ---Dílnu vedou / The Workshop is led by: Tomáš Škrdlant, Tomáš Daněk
The Joy of Thinking. The Life of Philosopher, Scientist, Poet, and Prophet Zdeněk Neubauer
The works of Miloš Šejn from the 1970s represent an unusual form of landscape film. It is based on a combination of land-art and physical performance, and can be perceived as both lyrical and spontaneous, but at the same time, silenced and concentrated. It uses the camera as an extension of vision and of the body and also as a tool to capture physical contact with nature, often in conjunction with extreme physical experiences. His films testify of his own experience as well as of the role of man in the surrounding ecosystem. With the filmmaker himself acting an active participant in the event, the National Film Archive will present a selection of his newly digitized films, some of which will be screened for the first time.The Workshop is led by Martin Blažíček Through the Maple Mine, 1977, 7 min Mumlava, 1978, 7 min Zívr's Prachov Rocks, 1978, 7 min Journey, 1979, 7 min Ravine, 1979, 23 min Braun's Nativity Scene, 1985, 3 min
Miloš Šejn: Stream, Tree and Stone
Czech Republic / 90 min.
The wedding film of the Plastic People’s singer, Paul Wilson, shows the scene before and after the ceremony at the town hall in Prague 5, including the gathered friends and the final departure of the newlyweds.
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 3 min.
A portrait of a boy sent to work in a farmer’s household, where he attends the local school. It captures not only the hard work he performs, but also those times when he plays with a dog and his frequent cigarette breaks. The documentary uses observational scenes of activities that at some points present even idyllic images of a human connected with nature.“ … the small farmer Jano longs for only one thing – to return from a society he does not understand, one which is foreign to him, to his solitude, back to nature…’ Rudolf Urc
Czechoslovakia / 1969 / 16 min.
This filmed survey of second-year students of the Documentary Department explores the conflicts that arise when a woman wants to study, possibly even set out along an academic career path, but at the same time longs to properly care for her family and children. The scenes portray the efforts of the female students, and their off-screen statements are interspersed with a contemporary commentary.
Czechoslovakia / 1966 / 7 min.
Ivan Tatíček was among the most prominent figures in the Czech alternative documentary scene in the 1980s. His films are characterized by spontaneity, improvisation and the use of home footage techniques. They authentically depict the atmosphere of life in late-stage socialism, in which they capture a number of personalities of the alternative cultural scene in addition to everyday situations. His films were made under private circumstances, and after private screenings and showings at amateur festivals, they were later completely forgotten about. In a new digitized version prepared by the National Film Archive, they will be presented in a revived premiere with the filmmaker himself an active participant of the screening. The workshop is led by Martin Blažíček Group D, 1982, 27 min Nothing different, 1983, 23 min Metrofilm, 1984, 9 min Home, Sweet Home, 1986, 19 min
Ivan Tatíček: A Chronicle of Late-Stage Socialism
Czech Republic / 110 min.
Music programmer and curator Pavel Klusák presents abstract and experimental films as a window onto the radicalization of the term “music video.” Noise, drone, feedback, sound collages, field recordings, deep electronica, improvised interactions, the post-technological world: experimental music as a source of inspiration and provocation for contemporary visual artists. Matthew Revert and Vanessa Rossetto, Franck Vigroux and Mika Vainio, Jon Rafman and Oneohtrix Point Never, and other collaborative efforts.---The Workshop is led by Pavel Klusák
Adult Contemporary: Experimental Music Video 016
The spoken word plays the main role in this investigative documentary. While the screen remains black, we listen to a conversation between officials and filmmakers who want to shoot a film about lung disease in Sichuan. The audio record exposes the typical strategy of censorship, progressing from false affability to the point of open threats.
China / 2016 / 62 min.
East European Premiere