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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Two Roads
Two Roads
Two Roads
Two Roads

Two Roads

director: Radovan Síbrt
original title: Postiženi muzikou
country: Czech Republic
year: 2019
running time: 80 min.

synopsis

The Jedlička Institute music class currently known as The Tap Tap band was founded 21 years ago by Šimon Ornest to give people with handicaps an opportunity to succeed outside of their daily institutional care. An observing and attentive camera captured the evolution of the personalities of several of the musicians over the course of several years. The attractive energy of the film which is exceptional in its approach to its theme as it avoids the usual compassionate sentiment stems from the relationships among the musicians and between them and their band leader, the motor of the action, whose work improves the public image of people with handicaps in an unorthodox way.

“Even if it was hard for me at first, I was trying to make a film in a similar way that the band members are putting up with their destinies: with no sentiment, pointless pity or political correctness involved, yet with a touch of pitch black humour.” R. Síbrt

biography

Radovan Síbrt (1975) graduated as a documentary director at FAMU. He co-founded the Pink company which produces films, commercials and charity campaigns. As a director, he is known as the author of Domestic Violence (Domácí násilí, 2007) or The Marriage of Robert and Gábina (Manželství Roberta a Gábiny, 2005). He has been cooperating with The Tap Tap on the making of their music videos.

more about film

director: Radovan Síbrt
cast: Šimon Ornest, Ladislav Angelovič, Jana Augustinová, Petr Tomek, Jiří Holzmann
producer: Karel Poupě, Alžběta Karásková, Hana Kastelicová
script: Radovan Síbrt
photography: Šimon Dvořáček, Radovan Síbrt, Lukáš Milota
editing: Tomáš Elšík, Jorge Sánchez Calderón
music: The Tap Tap
sound: Dominik Dolejší

other films in the section

Pilgrimage to the Mountains
Art historian and theorist Jiří Zemánek and his friends set out on a nine-day pilgrimage from Prague to Sněžka, one they’ve done many times before. These modern pilgrims, inspired by the walking journey of the poet Karel Hynek Mácha, who completed the trip with Eduard Hindl in 1833, discover the beauties of the Czech landscape, read excerpts of poems and observations from Mácha's notebook, and observe a world in which untouched nature and modern civilization meet. The lyrical, meditative film, interwoven with humanism, offers an insight into the inner minds of pilgrims longing to merge with the world, highlights poetry as a tool for transforming human perception.     "And then there is no choice but to take one's meager belongings onto one’s back and set off. Jirka might read a poem on the road, perhaps from Mácha, Jeffers or Josef Hora, and our minds are open to the unknown. We already know that there is nothing to be afraid of: the path will set us straight and guide us, connect us with the landscape, with the clouds, with the starry nighttime sky. With ourselves.” K. Čtveráček  
personal program

Pilgrimage to the Mountains

Karel Čtveráček
Czech Republic / 2020 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
International Premiere
Kings of Šumava
Josef Hasil, nicknamed King of the Bohemian Forest, was a cross-border smuggler between communist Czechoslovakia and the West, and later an agent for the CIC news service. His actions are the central theme of a film created using narrative animation resembling modern film noir, conversations with witnesses, and shots of the beauty of the mysterious Bohemian forests. In places, the documentary also takes on the qualities of a Hollywood action film, which contrasts with the burden of moral decisions of an individual and the relentless power of the totalitarian regime. Almost detective-like investigation is framed by the Bohemian myths and legends that are still told of the man today. "Kings of Šumava poetically explores the duality of hero, villain and reunites former Czech immigrant Vlasta Bukovsky and infamous Czech people smuggler Josef Hasil." K. Kelly

Kings of Šumava

Kris Kelly
Czech Republic, Ireland / 2019 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Czech Journal: The Little Mole & Laozi
In one episode of Czech Journal, Filip Remunda focuses on the Chinese president’s visit to the Czech Republic and launches into confrontational discussions with the citizens of a country that violates human rights and where people are imprisoned for their opinions, but whose population proudly voices their allegiance to their prospering country. Footage of the protests held by the Czech public, and in the opposite situation, when the Chinese greet the president with joy, as well as interviews with a Chinese dissident and with a Czech teacher, are interspersed with the saying of Laozi and footage of Leonid Brezhnev’s visit to Prague in 1978. The film thus opens the question as to with whom the Czech president is fostering warm international relations.“More than the protests, I was interested in the fact that the Chinese find us ridiculous for allowing people to protest. I went to China to get at the roots of this attitude.”

Czech Journal: The Little Mole & Laozi

Filip Remunda
Czech Republic / 2016 / 85 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Once Upon a Time in Poland
Director Karel Žalud, with directors Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, visited Poland over the course of several years to better understand Poles and their relationship with God. In the film, Žalud turns to casual passers-by, nuns celebrating the anniversary of the baptism of Poland, a representative of the anti-Semitic Radio Maryja, and a priest accused of sexual harassment. While they are all clear on matters of faith, the filmmaker, who himself seeks spiritual support, is increasingly skeptical. Christianity in today’s Poland seems to offer answers, but only to questions agreed upon by the church and the conservative government.     “It’s like a road movie through the medieval Catholic landscape. In short, it is a documentary football match, with one team being the most atheistic nation in Europe, which we are, versus the Poles, who are the most Catholic.” V. KlusákThis film will be available for 7 days after its online premiere.
personal program

Once Upon a Time in Poland

Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda
Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia / 2020 / 97 min.
section: Czech Joy
International Premiere
Excursion or History of the Present (English version)
The creators of the documentary essay Excursions visit several typical tourist attractions – the Aurora battleship, the monumental buildings of the Third Reich, the Berlin Wall, and the world’s first museum in Rome. Their interest is not so much in these places as it is in different ways of encountering history. With a subtle sense of irony, they explore how historical monuments influence guidebooks and visitors. We hear guides’ explanations, interviews, memories, and reenactments with tourists playing various roles. The film uses their interactions with these stages of history to engage in a sophisticated exploration of the relationship between contemporary man and the past.DETAIL:“In the Jewish cemetery in Berlin there is a grave with an inscription: ‘Now you are here, watching silently. When you leave, go and talk.’ We behave like this in front of the monuments – we are silent.”

Excursion or History of the Present (English version)

Jan Gogola ml.
Czech Republic / 2015 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Incoming
It’s 4903 km to the Czech town of Aš, but in Logar, Afghanistan, the main distance that the Czech team is trying to overcome is cultural. Talking heads ponder how to pass on know-how in a country wracked by 30 years of war, but more than once a siren tears the filmmakers and main protagonists back to reality, and there follows a far more dynamic spectacle. “Every day, we travel to hell. We put on vests and ballistic eyewear. We look like robots. We step out of those enormous vehicles like aliens.” In such a situation, taking off your helmet is an act of courage and humanity.

Incoming

Radim Špaček
Czech Republic / 2013 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Stone Games
Do the Sudeten Germans who were tortured and killed during their expulsion at the end of the war deserve a monument or not? This Czech documentary shows that this is more than an intellectual question, but a political struggle. In response to a stone monument to the victims of the expulsion in Nový Bor, a group of local inhabitants has unleashed a hate-filled ritual dance of national fervor and moral outrage that turns out to be a sufficiently strong election issue as well.  

Stone Games

Jan Gebert
Czech Republic / 2012 / 56 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Attention Economy: 39 Minutes After the Presidential Election
Petr Salaba’s film is a mosaic of videos that use different perspectives to record the actors and witnesses of the incident widely discussed in the media and related to re-electing Miloš Zeman the President of the Czech Republic at the end of January 2018. The film image, divided into several frames with parallel events, is a voyeuristic view of the exacerbated situation that occurred shortly after Zeman’s press conference at the congress Top Hotel in Prague. The journalists and film documentarists present at the press conference got into conflict with Zeman’s aggressive supporters after a man collapsed in the lounge. “We have to find the positive Nash equilibrium. wikipedia.org/wiki/Nash_equilibrium” P. Salaba

Attention Economy: 39 Minutes After the Presidential Election

Petr Salaba
Czech Republic / 2018 / 8 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
The Prison of Art
“Most prisoners like boxes.” The constrained nature of prisons opens up an infinitude of fantasies and free artistic expression. Environment determines means of expression. A project of confrontation and dialogue with artists from the outside shows radical diff erences and a conspiratory divergence from social norms. This essay on imaginary and physical freedom introduces us to the extreme thoughts of our own boundaries and limitations.  

The Prison of Art

Radovan Síbrt
Czech Republic / 2012 / 87 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
DK
This intimate portrait of uncompromising architect David Kopecký – who died of cancer – goes straight to the bone, mixing the extreme personality of a maximalist visionary with the no less intense vision of the director... Kopecký's wife. Archival footage, interviews with friends, and the unbridle energy of a person who lived in a world consisting of light and matter. "A large village shop was being auctioned off, and David was sick with the desire to acquire it... Me and the children's room would be in the meat section, while he would take up everything from the bread aisle to the dairy products."

DK

Bára Kopecká
Czech Republic / 2013 / 75 min.
section: Czech Joy
Viva Video, Video Viva
Today, analogue video is attractive primarily thanks to the distinctive aesthetic quality of its pixelated image and raster errors. But for Czech artists who first explored the possibilities offered by video art in the late 1980s, this medium represented a path towards freedom. Through a portrait of her grandfather Radek Pilař, one of the pioneers of Czech video art, the director explores her own legacy of imperative creative fascination. Her film’s main story, i.e., the process of reconstructing the 1989 exhibition Video Day, contrasts this enchantment with life in the final days of the totalitarian regime, which different sharply with the adventures of those who decided to emigrate – whom the filmmaker also visits in order to discover forgotten works, get to know their creators, and re-establish broken ties.  “’The computers, which are here with me, quietly tell me they want me to understand them, to live with them. Because we will live with them. But either they’re devils, or they will be gods.’ Radek Pilař.” A. Komrzý

Viva Video, Video Viva

Adéla Komrzý
Czech Republic / 2018 / 85 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
The Sound is Innocent
In this documentary essay, the director personally presents the history of electronic and experimental music from the pre-war years to the present day. The film takes place in an almost dream-like space-time that serves both as a recording studio and as a museum of technological artifacts, which allow the filmmaker to take playful grasp of the concept of talking heads. The sonically and visually layered excursion to the beginnings of the efforts to liberate and conceptualize sound is also a debate about the forms, possibilities, and perspectives of the acoustic relations to the world, in which the voices of the past constantly overlap with the sounds of the future. „Music documentaries usually tend to build a monument to a composer, band or subculture… My aim was to treat this topic in an essay-like style, using all available means that film as an audiovisual medium offers.” J. Ožvold

The Sound is Innocent

Johana Ožvold
Czech Republic, France, Slovakia / 2019 / 68 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
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