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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Still Recording

director: Saeed Al Batal, Ghiath Ayoub
original title: lasah em tusajil
country: Syria, France, Lebanon, Qatar, Germany
year: 2018
running time: 128 min.

synopsis

A unique documentary study takes us into Syria where, for a period of over four years, we observe the lasting friendship of art students Saeed and Milada. They moved to the rebel town of Douma and record everything they see around them. We experience not only their struggle with hunger, but also the desire for art and so much wanted freedom.

biography

Ghiath Ayoub (1989) studied fine arts at the University of Damascus and worked on a joint project with Saeed Al Batal (1988), who was originally a journalist, photographer, and radio announcer.

more about film

director: Saeed Al Batal, Ghiath Ayoub
producer: Mohammad Ali Atassi, Jean-Laurent Csinidis, Meike Martens
photography: Abed Al Rahman Al Najar , Rafat Bearam , Ghith Beram, Milad Amin, Tim Sioufi, Saeed Al Batal, Ghiath Ayoub
editing: Raya Yamisha , Qutaiba Barhamji
sound: Pierre Armand

other films in the section

Accidental Anarchist
Disillusioned by the foreign policy of the West, high-ranking diplomat Carne Ross begins to take an interest in anarchist theory and practice. The film captures the unexpected transformation of a supporter of the status quo into a seeker of social alternatives by working with the motif of a journey, which we see from Ross’s passionate perspective.

Accidental Anarchist

Clara Glynn, John Archer
United Kingdom / 2017 / 83 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
XY Chelsea
In 2017, the transgender woman Chelsea Manning was released from prison after serving seven of the thirty-five years she had been sentenced to for publishing, while still the soldier Bradley Manning, secret American videos and documents about the wars in Afghanistan and  Iraq. The film clarifies what led to her actions and her transformation, and also looks at the position of transgender people in the American prison system. It follows Manning from her first steps after her release to meetings with the friends who supported her during her time in prison and her entry into the world of politics, which changes significantly with the presidency of Donald Trump. “My vision for this film was then, and has remained, a character-driven film in which the personal and political are woven and collide in the most spectacular contemporary style.” T. Travers Hawkins     
personal program

XY Chelsea

Tim Travers Hawkins
United Kingdom / 2019 / 92 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Ghost Hunting
A group of former Palestinian prisoners from Israel’s Al Moskobiya detention centre enter a large hall. Watched closely by the cameras, they re-enact scenes from their captivity. The re-enactments are both memory and interaction. The resulting reflection on the everyday routine of life in an interrogation facility helps only some of the participants chase away their personal demons.

Ghost Hunting

Raed Andoni
France, Palestine, Switzerland, Qatar / 2017 / 94 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Path of Blood
The documentary captures terrorism like never before. Using rare footage from people who belong to Al-Qaeda and forces trying to fight terrorism, it shows an incredibly cruel and raw testimony on the network of one of the largest terrorist organizations in the world.

Path of Blood

Jonathan Hacker
United Kingdom / 2018 / 92 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
The Venerable W.
Wirathu, an influential and much-respected monk, is the embodiment of a shocking form of Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar, as he openly calls for the oppression and liquidation of the Muslim minority. This film provides an intimate insight of the background of an ethnic conflict, stirred up by proven propaganda methods, which chillingly parallels the current Islamophobia in Europe.

The Venerable W.

Barbet Schroeder
France, Switzerland / 2017 / 100 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
The Waldheim Waltz
A cinematic memoir of a time when the Austrian nation underwent a deep crisis of identity. The 1986 presidential elections were marked by the revelation that one of the candidates, former UN general secretary Kurt Waldheim, had lied about his activities during the Second World War. A cinematic exploration of the relationship between memory and the past as a sign of the times.

The Waldheim Waltz

Ruth Beckermann
Austria / 2018 / 93 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Last Men in Aleppo
The never-ending war in Syria has destroyed everything. Although Aleppo is in ruins, some of its residents have remained. Candid camera shots record the daily routine of the members of the White Helmets, who try to rescue people trapped beneath the rubble. But for how long can a dead city be kept alive?

Last Men in Aleppo

Feras Fayyad
Denmark, Syria, Germany / 2017 / 104 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Free Lunch Society – Come Come Basic Income
The greatest ever change in economic order is within reach! All that remains to be done is to overcome conventional thinking and accept the concept of unconditional basic income. In his montage documentary, the Austrian director simulates the history of the efforts to implement this reform, and, with futuristic playfulness, extrapolates its possible future development.

Free Lunch Society – Come Come Basic Income

Christian Tod
Austria, Germany / 2017 / 95 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Another Planet
This animated documentary tracks the making of a freeform compilation of computer models of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The state prosecutor, architect, graphic designer, and others explain their motives for creating them. The resulting mosaic links two themes of how virtual reality can be used: to preserve memory and as a tool to cope with trauma.

Another Planet

Amir Yatziv
Israel, Germany, Poland / 2017 / 48 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
Weapon of Choice
The Glock handgun is popular among black rappers, Austrian soldiers, and Middle Eastern tyrants. But the person who loves it most is its inventor, Gaston Glock. In this short reportage on the controversial arms industry, Austrian director Fritz Ofner’s clear objective is to demystify the story of a weapon, supposedly invented in a garage, that never fails.

Weapon of Choice

Fritz Ofner
Austria / 2017 / 89 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
DisAstro
“The economy is sick. It is time for it to die,” reads one piece of graffiti in this film – an unusual exploration of Athens during a time of crisis. The entire film consists of shots of abandoned industrial and urban sites representing the ruins of the collapsed capitalist system.

DisAstro

Leo Metcalf
United Kingdom, Greece / 2017 / 24 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
World Premiere
The Cave
Since 2013, when the Syrian regime and its allies first led the chemical war against Syrian civilians, many millions have fled in a desperate bid for survival. Those who remained are trapped. All borders are closed. There is no way out. In an underground hospital in the besieged town of Ghouta, a team of dedicated doctors works tirelessly to treat bombing victims and are constantly forced to battle systemic sexism. The film primarily follows the daily activities of pediatrician and hospital manager Dr. Amani Ballor, who attempts to improve her small patients’ lot in life. In an observational manner, it creates a snapshot portrait of an unlikely heroine. “I wanted people to see that an ordinary woman can do amazing things. Maybe that can change the world. She can remind us that we’re all human and that we have a shared humanity that is more powerful than violence.” F. Fayyad
personal program

The Cave

Feras Fayyad
Denmark, Syria, Germany, United States, Qatar / 2019 / 95 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
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