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25th 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

Czech Journal: Near Far East
This film about the situation in presentday war-torn Ukraine originated over the course of a year as the director’s travel journal. Ukrainian teacher Tania, who works in Prague as a cleaning lady, takes the fi lmmaker along to visit her family in Transcarpathia. The director also meets with his friends who are local journalists, and with Petr, a revolutionary who gives an atypical tour of the residence of Viktor Yanukovuch. Observational, mostly static shots, in which Remunda appears only occasionally as a witness or moderator, is accompanied by his off-screen commentary offering reflections on his own relationship with Ukraine and with the media in general.DETAIL:“Drug addicts have been eradicated as a social class. So there’s none here.” “And where are they?” “I’d say they’ve gone for treatment. They’re sick people. They should be treated. There are all kinds of ways. They’ll get a shovel and dig trenches.”

Czech Journal: Near Far East

Filip Remunda
Czech Republic / 2015 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Vote For Kibera
Photographer Don, a resident of Kibera, a giant slum in Nairobi, says that in his photographs he tries to capture the positive side of his home – not suffering, misery, and resignation, but hope, determination, and creativity. And Martin Páv’s documentary has taken a similar approach. Working with the unique photogenic qualities of the slum, the film is structured as a series of interviews with local residents. Besides Don, we also meet local artists, a teacher, and a boxing coach. Nevertheless, in the film’s final part about the presidential elections in Kenya, the frustrations, hopelessness, and violence in Kibera bubble to the surface.“People can co-operate if they have a reason to.“ M. Páv

Vote For Kibera

Martin Páv
Czech Republic / 2018 / 86 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Central Bus Station
Only recently, Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station was still the largest in the world. But this oversized space only serves more than its original purpose to bring in masses of people who, confused by its complicated interior design, succumb to shopping fever. Over time this concrete monster, which won’t be easy to tear down, has become a temporary refuge for people on the margins of society – refugees, criminals, prostitutes. Like its main protagonist, the tourist guide Yonatan, the film’s director is fascinated by one of the wonders of the world of redundancy and the microcosm of the people who live here.“To me, the Central Bus Station is not only a strange place, but also a place where everyone can find a kind of home.” T. Elšík

Central Bus Station

Tomáš Elšík
Czech Republic / 2018 / 75 min.
section: Czech Joy
East European Premiere
RINO
Karel Köcher is supposedly the most important communist agent to infiltrate the CIA. There are few reliable sources as to his activities, and so the filmmakers aim their camera primarily at the main protagonist. The result is an unconventional portrait that tells us more about a man living a double life than about any sensationalized spy activities. The mystery surrounding his actions also envelopes Köcher the individual: it is difficult to figure out what is going through the mind of someone so perfectly in control and capable of beating a lie detector. DETAIL:“People will say, ‘Oh well, you learned to lie so how can we believe you?’ But it’s not like that, you see? When you lie for a reason, that doesn’t mean that you are a liar by nature. It’s a technical matter.”

RINO

Jakub Wagner
Czech Republic / 2015 / 95 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
The End of Light
On a most real stage of all, a director of this hybrid film lets an unreal story flow. While Croatian nationalists stage a protest in front of the Rijeka theatre against its art director Oliver Frljić (a well-known figure to Czechs, among others), on a nearby island of Goli otok, amateur actors rehearse a surrealistic performance. Dilapidated buildings of a former concentration camp, secretly erected by Tito’s régime to hold political prisoners, serve as props of a Lynch-like scene in which smeared-faced actors become objects in the waxworks of their own dreams. The world of imagination and the world of bleak reality start moving away from each other.“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3” A. Suk

The End of Light

Aleš Suk
Croatia / 2018 / 62 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
noimage
FilmCONFLICT is divided into seven chapters made by first-year FAMU students and their teacher Vít Klusák. Each segment reports on one group involved in a neo-Nazi march (and its blockade) in Brno: right-wing radicals, blockaders, Roma, policemen, attendees of political rallies, journalists, and the uninterested but all-knowing animals at the zoo.

Big as Brno

Kristýna Bartošová, Robin Kvapil, Lukáš Senft, Jan Strejcovský, Vít Klusák, Natálie Císařovská, Andran Abramjan
Czech Republic / 2011 / 72 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
noimage
FilmSEARCH has picked a Latin phrase for its title, meaning the last refuge or the last possibility. The extensive collage combines situations, atmospheric images, documentation of social events, long speeches and sudden thoughts. Experience and knowledge are the aim of the film-life. A certain non-organized aspect of the material has an original share in the intensity, immediacy and force of the message.

Ultimum Refugium

Ondřej Vavrečka
Czech Republic / 2011 / 136 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Pripyat Piano
This film has a 1000 views limitAn audiovisual elegy to a place abandoned by people, where all that remains are sounds trapped in crumbling pianos. The Chernobyl tragedy left behind a unique, tragic space, a long-forbidden zone. Traces of recent settlement are ubiquitous, released at the mercy of time and the effects of nature. Outside the realm of mere visual and haptic experiences, a documentary is released calling for the return of man as a creator and performer to continue their fatally cut-off work. In poems and songs composed by the original inhabitants of Pripyat, we can hear that a strong connection between people and their home persists.Q&A with the filmmakers Eliška Cílková (director) and Jindřich Andrš (producer):
personal program

Pripyat Piano

Eliška Cílková
Czech Republic / 2020 / 18 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
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
Good Mr. Benda
A sensitive portrait of grandfather Miroslav Benda, a tried and true Sokol member and an ordinary man with extraordinary vigor and ideals, revealing a story of human resilience and optimism through nostalgia and situational comedy. The film is a kind of observational documentary - it includes family videos and archival film material. We’re drawn into the microcosm of the village of Křenovice u Slavkova by two Japanese women who have decided to visit Benda, thanks to his long friendship with a university professor from Tokyo. Together with Benda, the audience travels to the only Japanese gas station in Europe, to Prague’s Strahov Stadium, and to New York to visit American Sokol members. “Old Mr. Benda fascinates me with his ability to elevate banality to a feast; he is like a Zen master who was asked about the meaning of life and said: ‘When you want to eat, eat; when you want to sleep, sleep.’” P. Jurda

Good Mr. Benda

Pavel Jurda
Czech Republic / 2018 / 76 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
noimage
FilmAFRICA follows two Central Europeans on an adventure to Zambia to repair a village’s solar panels. They are aware of the value of their work, whose purpose they see in helping the villagers – these, however, are not satisfied with their lives. Black and white mindsets subtly, humorously, and touchingly collide.

Solar Eclipse

Martin Mareček
Czech Republic / 2011 / 81 min.
section: Czech Joy
Amerika
A sophisticated portrait of the Czech custom of “tramping” as seen through a personal lens, the film reconstructs and deconstructs the myth of the Czech dream of freedom. The metaphor of “America” serves as a space for personal projection for the main heroes, as well as a symbol of a lost paradise, whose lack of a time and space anchor gives a skewed impression of an indefinite feeling of absence. Lazily moving between a road movie, a pure romance movie, and an observational musical, questions begin to form: Is it a game? Is this serious? The unclear answer perfectly fits with the utopian world of tramping, where words like “fiction” and “reality” really have no place. DETAIL:“Yeah, like, but you have some idea of what America’s like, we don’t....” “But you have country there!” “Yeah, we have country....but your country is different than our country. It’s more romantic, I’m telling you...”

Amerika

Jan Foukal
Czech Republic / 2015 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
Ministerstvo kultury
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