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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Last Shift of Thomas Hisem
The Last Shift of Thomas Hisem

The Last Shift of Thomas Hisem

director: Jindřich Andrš
original title: Poslední šichta Tomáše Hisema
country: Czech Republic
year: 2017
running time: 29 min.

synopsis

“I hope that all is okay and that you’ll get something out of this,” proclaims miner Tomáš Hisem at the start of his shift at Ostrava’s Paskov Mine, which he decided to document. Although we don’t see his face (the camera that he has smuggled into the mine is attached to his helmet), we hear his distinct local dialect as he inspects the dark and dusty tunnels and claustrophobic underground spaces that we walk and crawl through on all fours. With a sense of immediacy and in his own distinctive manner, he captures a particular place at a particular time – one day before the Paskov Mine is closed and 1,300 of his colleagues lose their jobs.

“I’m shooting this so those city slickers in Prague can see the hard-ass work we do!” J. Andrš

biography

Jindřich Andrš (1994) is a third-year student in the Department of Documentary Film at FAMU; prior to that, however, he attended lectures on film science at the Charles University Faculty of Arts. His short films are linked by a single theme – the loss of authenticity in the lives of people working in technology development. In his documentary Mike and His Ultras (2016), he sketches a portrait of today’s young generation and their relationship with their idols – YouTubers.

more about film

director: Jindřich Andrš
cast: Tomáš Hiseman
producer: Tomáš Šimon, Augustina Micková
photography: Tomáš Frkal
editing: Lukáš Janičík
sound: Šimon Herrmann

other films in the section

Everything Has Its Own Time
Viola Ježková’s experimentally conceived film presents real time and cinematic time as something woven into one image. The image layers are often layered over one another, and the audio tracks are intermixed. This very personal documentary is a poetic exploration of memory, consciousness and future expectations as inexorably joined by reality. Filing by before our eyes (before the cinematographic gaze) are scenes from the past and images of everyday life; in the voiceover, inner voices recite fragments of long-ago dialogues between those who have left us but have not left us alone. “How to come to terms with loss? How to treat the remains? How to understand the meaning of memories? When we enter a picture, we leave the frame. We meet ideas of images. And through this encounter we gain a new image – an image for the future.” V. Ježková

Everything Has Its Own Time

Viola Ježková
Czech Republic / 2017 / 29 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Czech Journal: The Limits of Work
Journalist Saša Uhlová spent six months exploring working conditions at the worst-paid jobs in the Czech Republic. She spent several weeks in a hospital washroom, at a poultry plant, behind a cash register and at a waste sorting facility. Her experience formed the basis for a very personal series of reports about people working invisible jobs under shocking conditions, published on the A2larm.cz website. Apolena Rychlíková has turned these articles into a documentary film consisting of scenes shot at Uhlová’s home and of video footage taken at her places of work, accompanied by Uhlová’s read commentary.“I spent several months close to my protagonist, who never once placed herself above those whose lives she has tried to show us. Perhaps this film of our era will, with time, reach even those whom it affects.” A. Rychlíková

Czech Journal: The Limits of Work

Apolena Rychlíková
Czech Republic / 2017 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
FC Roma
A chronicle of the FC Roma football club, whose members have to persuade the other - “gadjo” - teams in the third league to play against them, transforms into an excursion through the various types of everyday Czech xenophobia. The filmmakers’ inconspicuous, observational approach gives a voice to the charismatic coaches, who, with a healthy ironic worldview, comment on a society that gives them virtually no chance. The dialogue of the various protagonists is the most prominent feature of this stirring, yet hopeless sounding documentary. Racism proves to be absurd, often unintentionally comical, but often also chilling.“Hitler doesn’t belong on the playing field.”

FC Roma

Tomáš Bojar, Rozálie Kohoutová
Czech Republic / 2016 / 76 min.
section: Czech Joy
Normal Autistic Film
Children with autism don’t suffer from an incurable disease. They suffer because they are neurodiverse in a world set up for neurotypicals. With that perspective, Miroslav Janek embarks on a series of live meetings with a number of children and young adults who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. He gives them the opportunity to express freely their relationship with the world and with themselves, as well as what sets them apart from “normal”. We find that he’s brought us into the company of fun, fascinating people who often suffer because they are labelled as “disabled”. This excursion into the world of autism redefines the seemingly firm boundaries between “otherness” and normality.“Now let’s talk about Asperger syndrome. What Asperger’s knows how to do. The standard form of Asperger’s syndrome, the milder version, which is what I have, is able to find friends. But the more severe version can’t. He has no friends.”

Normal Autistic Film

Miroslav Janek
Czech Republic / 2016 / 90 min.
section: Czech Joy
We Can Do Better
As the personal advisor to presidential candidate Michal Horáček, documentary filmmaker Robin Kvapil recorded from behind the scenes of the campaign from autumn 2016. He filmed using anything he could get his hands on - camera, mobile phone, notebook computer. The film, co-directed by Radim Procházka, was an attempt to capture an authentic portrait of Horáček’s election campaign, presenting his team’s tactics, interactions with both supporters and opponents, with journalists, and with opposing candidates. With an awareness that they had most likely lost the election, but that there was still a long path ahead of them, Kvapil presented a reflection of their teamwork, commenting on their individual steps.„Documentarist as a presidential campaign adviser. ‚Nothing‘ and ‚I don‘t know‘ can not win over lies and hatred. The truth scares.“ R. Kvapil „Hustler, Trasher, Zjeman and Troll in the film about the backstage of democracy.“ R. Procházka

We Can Do Better

Radim Procházka, Robin Kvapil
Czech Republic / 2018 / 74 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Enclosed World
This four-hour documentary – a compilation of Czech Television’s eponymous series – systematically charts life in prison and the associated societal circumstances. Through looking at human fates, on both sides of the bars, it explores imprisonment as something that, although often addressed in the media, is something with which most of us have no personal experience. Using the powerful stories of several individuals who are at different stages of their incarceration, the film presents not only a cross-sectional view of the current correctional system but also contemplations about guilt, punishment, justice, and whether an individual caught in the gears of a repressive system can actually remedy their behavior and change.“Enclosed world has undoubtedly been the longest, most demanding and most exhausting project I have worked on. I don’t know how many such things you can do in your life if you don’t slow down to survive. Maybe just one…” K. Žalud

Enclosed World

Karel Žalud
Czech Republic / 2018 / 229 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
Hate out of Love 3: Story of Domestic Violence
Abuse against seniors affects up to twenty percent of older Czechs. This vulnerable group often struggles for years with mental and physical abuse from their loved ones. Through focused, confidential, and harrowing interviews with three women and one man, the documentary recounts the situations in which these people find themselves as they near the end of their lives. Terror hidden behind the walls of their home gradually escalates into physical injury, litigation, and loss of property. In the film, they talk about how they coped with their children’s betrayal as well as their helplessness, knowing that society will not adequately defend them. “Our protagonists are disappointed by those they raised and for whom they cherished love – their children. It is difficult to experience it, and even more to admit such feelings to oneself and others. This is a more common trend than we would assume, though.” I. Pauerová Miloševićová
personal program

Hate out of Love 3: Story of Domestic Violence

Ivana Pauerová Miloševićová
Czech Republic / 2019 / 52 min.
section: Czech Joy
Lost Coast
The film follows the lives of fishermen and vacationers who, through community efforts and friendly cooperation, seek to improve the otherwise deserted shores of the South Moravian reservoir Nové Mlýny, whether for a family holiday or leisurely fishing. Due to bureaucratic machinations, however, they are forced to sell off their summer homes and leave this place full of nostalgia and memories for good. Discreetly observational camerawork reveals the ordinary hardships, difficulties and joys of ordinary people and, with humorous insight alternating with melancholy contemplation, recounts the story of the conflict between living human experience and the cold state apparatus.  “’It’s a pity - one beautiful era has come to an end… ’ Fisherman Saša”. J. Zykmund
personal program

Lost Coast

Jiří Zykmund
Czech Republic / 2019 / 78 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Czech Journal: Children of the State
A great wave of criticism was aroused in 2011, when the Norwegian Child Welfare Services, Barnevernet, took away both of the Micháleks’ sons. The documentary director, who has two children of her own, set out to Norway to discover whether the state is indeed dictating how parents should raise their children. This investigative documentary uses individual stories and interviews with experts to reveal that the issues are much more complex than the way they are presented by the Czech media. Although the defined rules may be restrictive, they are also apparently one of the reasons why Norway is ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. “Do what degree do we overlook cases in our surroundings, when parents are not able to handle the raising of their children? Are we respecting privacy? Or is it indifference? Are we able to view the state as other than a necessary evil?” I. P. Miloševičová

Czech Journal: Children of the State

Ivana Pauerová Miloševič
Czech Republic / 2017 / 57 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Sólo
Martín Perano is a young Argentinean piano virtuoso and composer whose life has been turned upside-down by mental illness. He spent the past few years in the largest psychiatric hospital in South America, El Borda in Buenos Aires. After his release he returned to the nearly empty house of his parents, where his biggest concern was to learn to live without walls and to go back to the piano, which he played every day in the institute. The director patiently observes Martín’s return; in interviews with his loved ones, he learns more about Martín’s past, lyrically approaching the inner workings of a person obsessed with creation, capable of taking strength from their own hypersensitivity. “The other patients sat in respectful silence listening to this curious sonata of fingers rapping the table. After a few minutes, Martín finished playing. Strong emotions could be read in the eyes of his audience, as though they had been listening to real music.” A. Benki
personal program

Sólo

Artemio Benki
Czech Republic, France, Argentina, Austria / 2019 / 84 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Non-Parent
With her documentary study of the current form of the family, the director follows up on her earlier film Generation Singles. By looking at six different stories, she presents various views and opinions regarding partnership and parenthood – what does shared custody look like, how does a single parent raise children and how do lesbians? How do patchwork families function, how is it with adopted kids and how is it with people who have decided to never have any at all? In intimate on-camera interviews, the participants explain their decisions, however voluntary, and reflect on the causes and consequences of their (non-)functioning families or partnerships. “Changes in the concept of family are a sign of the times. Today there are many different forms of cohabitation. I am not judging whether the fact that the family is changing is good or bad. I am merely recording this trend because it affects us all.” J. Počtová

Non-Parent

Jana Počtová
Czech Republic / 2017 / 83 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt