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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Expectant
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Expectant
Expectant
Expectant
Expectant

Expectant

director: Farid Rodriguez Rivero
original title: Expectante
country: Peru, Portugal
year: 2018
running time: 77 min.

synopsis

If we look up the word "expectante" in a Spanish-English dictionary, we learn it is an adjective which can be translated as “expecting” or “biding one's time”. It is no accident this single-word title belongs to an disconcerting Peruvian film which takes its audience to a darkened city where a group of friends is spending an evening of leisure. Even though the neighborhood they live in is a relatively safe one, their locked doors and gates provide no more than an illusion of safety, which is a thought applicable world wide. The distant black-and-white camera through which the audience observes the plot seems to be biding its time for a chance to attack.

"I think cinema is about creating sensations and reaching out to a personal language as a way to manifest our vision as individuals." F. Rodriguez Rivero

biography

Farid Rodriguez Rivero (1993) is an independent Peruvian filmmaker who studied cinematography at the Charles Chaplin Institute in Peru from 2010 to 2013. Five years after his feature debut entitled Una semana con pocas muertes (A Week with Few Deaths, 2013), he's introducing his latest film Expectante (2018) to the Czech audience and at film festivals in Peru and Portugal.

more about film

director: Farid Rodriguez Rivero
cast: Jean Pierre Seminario, Fiama Silva Portugal, Emily Patazca, Jesús Santa Cruz, Luis Ciudad
producer: Farid Rodriguez Rivero, Yhan Chávez, André Gil Mata
photography: Cesar Fe, Farid Rodriguez Rivero
editing: Farid Rodriguez Rivero
sound: Diego Dávila, Tomas Gistau Soldi

other films in the section

Time Splits in the River
Four artists decide to make a film where apolitical parents play parts of dissidents from the 1980s. Later, they show them the footage, unfolding discussions about art and politics. A  fascinating conceptual therapy revolving around traumatic  events of the history of Taiwan combines a highly artistic style with the informal, echoing, in the best possible sense, the saying ‘the personal is political’. Idiosyncratic, half-improvised ‘performances’ of the protagonists, who embody a story fromthe life and work of writer Shi Mingzheng, and the visual side of the film, just as poetic as it is funny, make this film a highly personal experience that is difficult to categorize.“Through re-enacting the social minority’s experiences , the filmsheds light on new negotiations between the social majority and other dissidents, while exposing the impossibility of family communication.”

Time Splits in the River

Yu-Ping Wang, Chia-Hung Lee, I-Chieh Huang, Xuan-Zhen Liao
Taiwan / 2016 / 89 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Terrain Vague
A film between a short story and a social documentary, combining stifling atmosphere with humour and reflections of the millennials. We follow a fictional female journalist who tries to report on changes happening in poor neighbourhoods of Philadelphia with empty half-built compounds, the high-end centres of the future, for now reminiscent of some Kafkaesque novel. Black and white photographs on 16mm film accompanied by a monotonous female voiceover leading the audience through a dystopic fantasy with a caustic commentary on gentrification and class inequality in American cities. "Set in Philadelphia in the recent past, Terrain Vague takes the conversion of an industrial plant into a new tech-hub as a starting point to explore some of the tensions of the neoliberal city." E. KihnThis film will be available for a period of seven days after it's online premiere.
personal program

Terrain Vague

Edward Kihn
United States / 2020 / 47 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Aged
Self-appointed family chronicler Philip Hoffman documents his father’s aging process. Images of this once-vital man as captured in the director’s amateur images are confronted by scenes of a sick old man slowly awaiting death at the family cottage by the lake. This experimental film combines intimate home videos (ranging from the director’s childhood all the way to the present as he cares for his incapacitated father) with unique impressions from the surrounding countryside that describe the transience of human life. Sounds of nature, such as water splashing on the lake’s surface or birdcalls, underscore the grainy wordless images.DETAIL:“Hi Daddy, good morning!” (daughter on the phone, enthusiastically) – I just woke up. (mumbling) – That’s good. Did you have a good sleep? – ugh, yes...  (indistinct mumbling) Yes... (hoarsely, losing his voice).

Aged

Philip Hoffman
Canada / 2014 / 45 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Western, Family and Communism
The first shots of the film show Parisians demonstrating and protesting, interspersed with shouted political slogans of Iranian activists. While the situation is very heated in Paris, calmness reigns in Iran. A French family is traveling here in a caravan and getting to know the country. The father films footage of their journey including his wife and daughter. The first third of the film suggests that the issue is a national one, namely that of the Iranian citizens, while the remaining two-thirds shows, however, the French on holiday. From a formal point of view, the film comprises interesting shots taken with a handheld camera, as well highly-overexposed, almost white, shots and double exposures. „Perhaps politics is the multiple of experiments and inventions in an equation with two unknowns: ‚I‘ and ‚we‘. Rather than solve it, once and for all, it would be a matter of keeping trying. Once again. (Precarious springs of the peoples, Maria Kakogianni, 2017)“ L. Krief

Western, Family and Communism

Laurent Krief
France / 2018 / 83 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
(T)ERROR
Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a former Black Panther member, is now working for the FBI. His task is to discover signs of terrorism in American Muslim communities. This reportage captures the dimension of paranoia that exists in the USA’s security police in the best tradition of the American investigative reporting style. The director reveals undemocratic principles underpinning the functioning of American democracy.The attempt to uncover a crime before it occurs becomes an exercise in chasing phantoms, leads to a distortion of facts, and spreads feelings of fear amongst often innocent people.DETAIL:“Do you think your present right now is in any way related to your past?” “Well, I don't have a past, I don't even wanna make bring it back up. I really don't.”

(T)ERROR

David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral
United States / 2015 / 84 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Missing
Once we begin to consider certain people, items, or memories as our own, we lay ourselves open to the threat that we’ll lose them. Once the loss actually occurs, our mental image of the lost thing doesn’t disappear – on the contrary – it intensifies. This documentary, inspired by the stories of missing people in Iranian newspapers, searches for people who have disappeared for various reasons, but their tracks still resonate. A wide spectrum of archival materials offers a variety of answers to the question of how the absent can remain present, while live images of grieving loved ones then act as an appeal to all those who would brush off this painful ambivalence. „It could be so simple at times. We just leave home and forget to return. Or don’t want to return. Or cannot return...” F. Sharifi

Missing

Farahnaz Sharifi
Iran / 2017 / 60 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Katyusha: Rocket Launchers, Folk Songs, and Ethnographic Refrains
What is the effect of an overheard melody, especially when it sounds almost painfully familiar? In a house full of personal photographs and to the sound of a barrel-organ melody, the film’s director explores the history of her family, which was forced to flee from the Soviet Union before the Second World War. This experimental anthropological film is a mediation on the shared experience of song and the phenomenon of memories associated with popular melodies. As if fired from the eponymous rocket launcher, the artificial folk song Katyusha soared through civilizational skies to become the soundtrack of more than a few human tragedies.“Conflating years of research, archival digging, and excerpts from familial, institutional, and other collections, Katyusha is an experimental documentary that ruminates on the circulation and constructions of cultural memory and national(ist) narratives.” 

Katyusha: Rocket Launchers, Folk Songs, and Ethnographic Refrains

Kandis Friesen
Canada / 2016 / 38 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
29 26
 The film 29 26 is an audiovisual recording of the thoughts and feelings of two sixteen-year-old and two nineteen-year-old girls, who in monologues reveal their concerns and ideas about the life they’ll lead in ten years. The director underscores their speech with stylized and realistic images of themselves, acquired under varying circumstances and on different materials, thus creating an original work of art connecting elements of multiple artistic areas that are close to the author. Long shots of the protagonists’ faces, captured in great detail, are highlighted with expressive illumination and interleaved with poetic, experimentally conceived passages.„‘The world grows with fear next to us‘“ - 29 26, tries to be an intimate and honest tribute/portrait about growing up. Together we create a new space, between performance and film hoping to remember who we were one day.“ P. Velho

29 26

Pedro Velho
Portugal / 2018 / 40 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Night's Drifters
Afghan immigrants Sobhan and Hamid fall asleep together underneath a bridge in the big city. Their difficult months-long journey from home has not been rewarded by a better life, but has been shattered by fears of the coming day. They live outside of time, hope extinguished in the French suburbs. Afghan defiance and enthusiasm are fractured within blurry images from mobile telephones and in endless dark nights spent by a makeshift fire. The fate of young immigrants, seen from a distance, offers a topical picture of more than one Middle Eastern country.  

Night's Drifters

Bijan Anquetil
France / 2012 / 45 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Tour of Duty
Personal retrospectives reveal life on an American base and in the nearby village following the end of the Korean War. The late testimony of three women forms a raw probe into the soul of women forced by circumstances into prostitution, and reveals the consequences of the presence of American soldiers on the lives of the local inhabitants. The camera dispassionately follows a dancing woman whose movements bring to life memories of youth. The focused camera increases the intensity of the experience, and in an unbearably slow flow of images joins with the dancing woman to pull the viewer into the pain of her life.

Tour of Duty

Dong-ryung Kim, Kyoung-tae Park
South Korea / 2013 / 150 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
Kiruna – A Brand New World
Apocalyptic depiction of an area literally engulfed by the mining industry is presented in this documentary that observes the eponymous northern Swedish city, part of which was abandoned due to activities in the nearby iron mine. The mining company’s management decided not to halt profitable mining activities and instead made the decision to move the residents of the threatened district. Using footage shot in the city inside the Arctic Circle and directly in the mines, the director has uncovered subtle film imagery, and using the stories of three protagonists now living in a bizarre inter-time, imaginatively addresses the topics of resettlement, tradition, and respect for a particular location. “The dystopian story of Kiruna is about lost people looking for a home in an uprooted city. It shows the dark side of the advanced society, whether in Sweden or the Czech Republic.” G. Stocklassa

Kiruna – A Brand New World

Greta Stocklassa
Czech Republic / 2019 / 87 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
Skokan
Director Petr Václav calls Skokan a documentary film with fairy-tale aspects, mainly because of its emphasis on authenticity in telling the fictional tale of a Romani recidivist in search of career opportunities at the Cannes film festival. The main character is played a by real ex-con, Julius Oračko, whom the filmmakers got out of prison on parole shortly before the start of filming. The film was shot with just a rough script, which was fine-tuned on the set. The scenes from Cannes were shot during the festival. The ending, which recalls the liberation of an enchanted princess, again feels like a fairy tale.“We improvised most of the scenes during filming – we used the places we were able to get into and the light that was available. Above all, I tried to capture the experiences of the main character,” P. Václav

Skokan

Petr Václav
Czech Republic, France / 2017 / 93 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
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