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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Passengers

director: Jana Boršková
original title: Pasažéři
country: Czech Republic
year: 2018
running time: 78 min.

synopsis

The film’s director sees her four protagonists as passengers along for the ride. She started to follow them just before they left the children’s home where they grew up, and spent the next six years following their lives. The return to a non-functioning family environment often also means the return to established patterns, lack of a future, and unstable social relations. The film is an indirect indictment of the country’s institutionalized care system, which manages to look after children as minors but fails to properly prepare them for the transition into adulthood.

„What is it like to sit in the back seat of your life?“ 

 

 

 

 

biography

Jana Boršková (1977) studied screenwriting at FAMU and did a student exchange at the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. She works for Czech Television, where she focuses primarily on programs about traveling. She is the author of several feature film screenplays. In 2011, she shot the intimate documentary From Cherries to Cherries about how her mother came to terms with the death of her husband.

more about film

director: Jana Boršková
cast: Milan Gujdan, Josef Pošmurný, Milan Pošmurný, Pavel Sivák
producer: Jarmila Poláková, Taťána Marková
script: Jana Boršková
photography: David Šachl
editing: Blanka Kulová, Jiří Brožek, Ivana Davidová
sound: Vladimír Chrastil, Jana Boršková

other films in the section

Czech Journal: Don’t Take My Life
One day, documentary filmmaker Andrea Culková learned that she faced attachment of assets because of a minor error that she learned about too late. She thus became one of the many people to find themselves caught in a debt trap. In her contribution to the Czech Journalseries, Culková delves into an examination of the phenomenon of debt, debt recovery, and debt payments in Czech society from a personal as well as investigative viewpoint. She interviews various actors in the field, from debtors to the Minister of Justice, attends conferences of debt collectors, and explores how the issue is addressed in other countries."You can’t just take my film from me!!!!"

Czech Journal: Don’t Take My Life

Andrea Culková
Czech Republic / 2016 / 63 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Mat goc
How do the children of Vietnamese parents view Vietnam – those who speak better Czech than Vietnamese and who feel more in touch with Western culture than with that of their parents? This film tries to answer such questions by combining documentary scenes with elements of acting and a clear dramatic arc. For one of two brothers, a forced journey to Vietnam becomes an opportunity to better understand his origins, and thus his own parents and even himself. Czech viewers get a chance to see behind the wall of uniform cultural stereotypes and breathe life-giving movement into the minority.DETAIL:Mat goc – a negative term for a member of the Vietnamese community who does not honor the principles of traditional Vietnamese culture. Literally translates to “lost his roots.”

Mat goc

Dužan Duong
Vietnam, Czech Republic / 2014 / 19 min.
section: Czech Joy
European Premiere
Never Happened
“The deed did not occur,” proclaimed Vladimir Mečiar in 1996 on the murder of businessman Róbert Remiáš, which likely had a political motive and with which the Prime Minister himself was likely involved. His infamous dictum is an attempt to negate a documentary that combines an investigative approach with original filmmaking. The director builds her film on interviews with key players in the Remiáš case but does not limit herself to an austere presentation of facts. Alternating different film formats, from black and white film to VHS, she evokes a period of crime and highlights the central theme of confrontation with the past. “I wanted to make a poetic political film. Engagé art should not give up on the style.” B. Berezňáková  

Never Happened

Barbora Berezňáková
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2019 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
llllllIIIIl
The film’s title can be seen as an anti-captcha, a text that is easily machine-read but difficult for people to understand. Working in the style of a documentary essay, the film considers the problem of the autocracy of machines. Apocalyptic visions inspired by the film The Terminator are projected onto the reality of destructive protests against the G20 Summit, whose catalyst, means and outcome are statistical analyses of behavioural models realized using the computers and telephones in our pockets. A collage of original images, commented graphs and internet garbage. For the full viewing experience, please have your smartphone ready. “This text can’t be longer than 200 characters. That’s 60 more than a tweet by Donald Trump.” P. Salaba

llllllIIIIl

Petr Salaba
Czech Republic / 2017 / 27 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Traces of a Landscape
An immersive watercolour of the life of artist Jan Jedlička. The Czech painter, filmmaker and photographer emigrated to Switzerland in 1968 before making his second home in the desolate landscape of the Tuscan lowlands of Maremma. The empty palette of possibilities of internal exile gradually fills with enchanting paintings woven from a colorful mixture of shades of rocks, sediments, and pigments found in the landscape. The impressions of his new home, transferred ambiently onto canvas, photographs, and raw material of film, capture the inner sight and spiritual bond of an artist released from social structures, devoted only to his own work and life in a landscape of subdued light and shadow.     “Monitoring change is what interests me. There is no end result here, it evolves over time, it just keeps going.” J. Jedlička   Q&A - Petr Záruba, Alice Tabery:  
personal program

Traces of a Landscape

Petr Záruba
Czech Republic, Italy / 2020 / 67 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
The Way the President Departs
The compilation documentary The Way the President Departstakes us back to the events surrounding the presidential elections in Czechoslovakia in 1992 that led to the dissolution of the federal republic. The film, which uses clips from Czechoslovak Television and Original Videojournal, focuses on the first elections, in which the sole candidate was Václav Havel. It is Havel himself who is the focus of the film. We see primarily his immediate reactions to the changing situation around the elections, whether those intended for the public or expressed within his circle of advisors. In addition to observations of an important Czech politician, the film evokes public life in the 1990s.“I am sure that for today’s audiences, this behind-the-scenes look at politics will be interesting and stimulating, and they will be surprised at how dramatically the political scene has changed.”

The Way the President Departs

Pavel Kačírek
Czech Republic / 2016 / 51 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Viva Video, Video Viva
Today, analogue video is attractive primarily thanks to the distinctive aesthetic quality of its pixelated image and raster errors. But for Czech artists who first explored the possibilities offered by video art in the late 1980s, this medium represented a path towards freedom. Through a portrait of her grandfather Radek Pilař, one of the pioneers of Czech video art, the director explores her own legacy of imperative creative fascination. Her film’s main story, i.e., the process of reconstructing the 1989 exhibition Video Day, contrasts this enchantment with life in the final days of the totalitarian regime, which different sharply with the adventures of those who decided to emigrate – whom the filmmaker also visits in order to discover forgotten works, get to know their creators, and re-establish broken ties.  “’The computers, which are here with me, quietly tell me they want me to understand them, to live with them. Because we will live with them. But either they’re devils, or they will be gods.’ Radek Pilař.” A. Komrzý

Viva Video, Video Viva

Adéla Komrzý
Czech Republic / 2018 / 85 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
The Perpetrator and the Bystander
This half-hour film consists of private video footage shot by theater artist Petr Lébl in 1996 while working on a production of Cyrano de Bergerac as a guest director at the national theatre in Tel Aviv. For most of the film, we see Lébl and costume designer Kateřina Štefková in a hotel room, although on the margins of their banter we encounter Lébl’s more skeptical observations directed at the camera. This seemingly banal home video of two close people breaks down the boundary between the personal and the public, between life and performance. Both continue to act in front of the camera, even though the film was not meant for the public. DETAIL:Mission Impossible – with Kateřina. Beware of Kateřina: Her raw commentaries are meant to drive you mad. Don’t let yourself be fooled: There is no point in repeating to her that I respect her. Better to act with that knowledge in your heart.

The Perpetrator and the Bystander

Jan Kačena, Nikola Krutilová
Czech Republic / 2015 / 34 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
My Latest 150.000 Cigarettes
The struggle with the tobacco industry, with the help of infotainment and a video journal, authenticity and stylization. Armed with the facts and dressed up as a giant cigarette, the filmmaker heads out into public, to the gates of tobacco companies, and among politicians. Low comedy and the withdrawal mission of a heavy smoker, all with a clear antihero. Day 2. “All I can do is sleep or get drunk and fall asleep… God, how I want a smoke!” The director/main protagonist speaks with the shaky voice of an addict in detox. The facts speak clearly: “Cigarettes kill more quickly than weapons.”

My Latest 150.000 Cigarettes

Ivo Bystřičan
Czech Republic / 2013 / 52 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
noimage
FilmNOVEL about extra-terrestrial civilizations living not only in space but also on Earth. The film by the classic of Czech documentary opens by quotations from the famous operetta Mam’zelle Nitouche which is confronted with the environment of a convent, theatre and barracks. The director, too, enters these to discover and define the thin border between internal faith in God and institutionalized religion.

Obscurantist and His Lineage or The Pyramids' Tearful Valleys

Karel Vachek
Czech Republic / 2011 / 199 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Tears of Steel: Vladimír Stehlík Meets Lubomír Krystlík
The privatization and bankruptcy of the famous Poldi Kladno steel mill in the 1990s long left its mark on Czech society and the media. The FAMU graduate film returns to the affair many years later from the point of view of its main actors: Poldi Kladno’s CEO Vladimír Stehlík and his personal advisor Lubomír Krystlík. By juxtaposing their remarks with archival television videos, the film provides a humorous look at the ups and downs of two men who contributed extensively to building capitalism in post-1989 Bohemia and who are now learning the art of aging on their meager pensions. DETAIL:“You have to turn it into a show. Otherwise nobody will find it interesting. Also, there is no point in returning to the past. Document it and enough.” “And how should we turn it into a show?” “For instance by taking a picture of Stehlík’s teeth.”

Tears of Steel: Vladimír Stehlík Meets Lubomír Krystlík

Tomáš Potočný
Czech Republic / 2015 / 52 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
One Last Time in the Fields
A filmed explication and a discovered script, composed of melodies and images for a film that was once supposed to be made. In the beginning was Bohuslav Martinů’s cantata Kytice – or rather, its part titled “Man and Death”, a musical adaptation of Sušil’s collection of folk poetry. Inspired by it, writer and painter Ivan Matoušek created an eschatological still-life that then influenced his novel The Ego. This path is followed not just by the story of the film’s creation but by the film itself, a brief depiction of man on the road towards death, moving slowly amidst a waving field. Images become a parable of our own mortality. “You can only quote yourself in your own work.” P. Havlík

One Last Time in the Fields

Přemysl Havlík
Czech Republic / 2017 / 54 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
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