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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Last Hope of Věra Bílá
The Last Hope of Věra Bílá
The Last Hope of Věra Bílá
The Last Hope of Věra Bílá
The Last Hope of Věra Bílá

The Last Hope of Věra Bílá

director: David Vondráček, Roman Šantúr
original title: Poslední naděje Věry Bílé
country: Czech Republic
year: 2018
running time: 52 min.

synopsis

Věra Bílá was once one of the largest celebrities on the Czech music scene. Together with the band Kale, she went on numerous tours of Europe, the USA, and Japan. But after leaving the band in 2006 she no longer performs in public, and her passion for gambling machines caused her to fall into debt. In 2013, her only (adopted) son passed away, followed soon after by her husband. She spent Christmas 2016 all alone in a small room. Nobody gave her any gifts. She remembers her grandmother, who survived Auschwitz, and the many downturns and insults she has had to suffer. And yet she looks forward, with faith in a new project, new energy, hope…

more about film

director: David Vondráček, Roman Šantúr
producer: Lenka Poláková
script: David Vondráček
photography: Roman Šantúr
editing: Roman Šantúr
sound: Milan Sýkora

other films in the section

I Haven’t Smoke My Last Cigar Yet
Professor Josef Koutecký founded, built up and institutionalised a brand new medical field – paediatric oncology – first in Czechoslovakia, later in the Czech Republic. He has been the head of a clinic, a dean and a vice-chancellor and has trained a vast number of paediatric oncologists. But this documentary is not about him as a professor but rather about him as a man. It is not about his successes but about love and faith. It is not about an elderly man but about someone who has always stood upright.

I Haven’t Smoke My Last Cigar Yet

Šárka Maixnerová
Czech Republic / 2017 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Report from Hell
In 1994, Alfréd Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba miraculously escaped from Auschwitz, driven by the conviction that they must inform the world about the horrors being committed at the camp. However, they soon discovered that few people were interested in them, as if nobody wanted to know about the Jewish suffering in the factories of death!

Report from Hell

Ján Novák
Czech Republic / 2016 / 63 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Forman vs. Forman
This film is a portrayal of one of the leading Czech directors, Miloš Forman. Forman, a creator and filmmaker behind the Oscar-winning film, Amadeus, and Flying Over the Cuckoo's Nest, an adventurous man with great charisma who's not afraid to doubt himself. This documentary by directors Helena Třeštíková and Jakub Hejna summarizes Forman's life journey where both fame and the wounds of fate collide with personal discovery and uncertainty. It is a collage of often unseen, private and official archives, as well as an autobiographical recollection spoken by the director's son, Petr Forman.

Forman vs. Forman

Helena Třeštíková, Jakub Hejna
Czech Republic / 2019 / 78 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Czechs Save… Sea Turtles in Borneo
The documentary series Czechs Save… with host Dan Bárta looks at endangered animals all over the world and the Czech naturalists who, often thousands of kilometers away from home, are working to save them. The first episode of the series focuses on the work of the young biologist Hana Svobodová, who is trying to protect sea turtles on several islands around Borneo. Although there exist other breeding stations, her extensive knowledge of the turtles lives allows her to help them more effectively.

Czechs Save… Sea Turtles in Borneo

Zdeněk Suchý
Czech Republic / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
Grumbling: More Than Skin Deep
Even though one member of a group of adventuresome retirees has a wife with a tattoo, for most of them the idea of having a tattoo of their own was shocking or even repulsive – perhaps because the older generation viewed tattoos as the domain of ex-convicts or exotic sailors. In this episode of the entertaining docu-reality series, they attempted to shed their prejudices and to try out tattoos for themselves. At first through a kind of “trial”, then on their own bodies, and one even on a family member. Did the tattoo artists’ philosophy get “under their skin”? Accompanying them on their journey of discovery through the different world of the younger generation were tattoo artists Lukáš Poláček, Daniel Kovář, Jan Motýl and Chozé. The documentary is part of the “Grumbling” series.

Grumbling: More Than Skin Deep

Jakub Skalický
Czech Republic / 2014 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The Beginnings
This documentary by Linda Kallistová Jablonská captures three years in the lives of three girls who were raised in institutional care. Once they reach 18 years of age, Adéla, Denisa and Pavla must leave the orphanage in Počátky. They move to a halfway house. They try working. They form relationships. They try to find their niche. How does the dream of freedom taste? Will they be able to handle being solely responsible for their own lives?

The Beginnings

Linda Kallistová Jablonská
Czech Republic / 2013 / 60 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Stories of the 20th Century II - Thresers
Perhaps everyone knows of the footage of the crackdown on demonstrators at Národní třída on November 17th, 1989. Jan Slezák, Milan Danišovič and Jiří Laňka were involved in suppressing the demonstration on November 17th, 1989, albeit to a different degree. Jan Slezák was the commander of the company of the Emergency Regiment for Public Security and at the time of the crackdown, he waited in the emergency room as a backup. Milan Danišovič commanded the entire intervention. Jiří Laňka was a member of the special unit of the Ministry of the Interior, known as the "red berets."

Stories of the 20th Century II - Thresers

Viktor Portel
Czech Republic / 2019 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
On Decency
The film was shot with “ordinary people” living in Litvínov’s Janov neighbourhood, which has recently seen an influx of “problematic” families from all over the country whose relations with long-time residents are more than tense. The film unflinchingly exposes the sources of hatred towards minorities among a portion of the Czech public, shows its dark undercurrents in everyday banal situations, and through minor details reminds us of the thin line that exists between decency and violence. 

On Decency

Radovan Síbrt
Czech Republic / 2012 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Born in 1918
Vlasta Šrůtková has lived through many ups and down not just in her own life, but in the life of her country. She is exceptionally vital for her age, living on Prague’s Kampa Island, a perfect place for reflecting on Czech history, identity, the nation. Her life is an exceptionally strong story in which the central event of our country are also key moments in her own life. 

Born in 1918

Eva Tomanová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
From Love to Hatred 2: Domestic Violence on Men
After its successful documentary film featuring interviews with five abused women, Czech Television takes a look at another side of domestic violence. The stories of the film’s four male protagonists show that although the methods of violence are similar, the victims’ are in a much different position: Violence against men is usually questioned, and their partners, however manipulative and aggressive, are in a much more advantageous position, since the men, as representatives of the supposedly stronger sex, are generally not believed. The film is the first ever documentary to look at this socially taboo subject. 

From Love to Hatred 2: Domestic Violence on Men

Štěpán Romuald Rob
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The Second Republic
The Second Republic was relatively short-lived. But those few months were one of the most dramatic and important periods in our history. In 1938 in Munich, all the ideals and values on which Czechoslovakia had been built came crumbling down. Czech society ceased to believe in democracy and began to admire authoritarian fascist governments. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the occupied Sudetenland for what remained of the country, but nobody wanted to take them in. The media was subjected to censorship, and an aggressive strain of anti-Semitism appeared among the Czech population. And on top of it all, there were further territorial demands by Germany, Poland, and Hungary, and separatist tendencies in Slovakia.

The Second Republic

Aleš Koudela
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
30 Days in the Life of a Czech Warden
After the successful and Ji.hlava MFDF Award-winning docuseries, Enclosed World, director Karel Žalud returns to prison once again. This time, he follows the story of Dan Lauf, a young warden working in a small prison in Teplice who leaves his pregnant wife for 30 days to help out at the large prison in Stráž pod Ralskem. His personal story shows not only the prison environment and the specific demands of Lauf's profession, but also the problems of the current Czech prison system.

30 Days in the Life of a Czech Warden

Karel Žalud
Czech Republic / 2019 / 58 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
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