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25th 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

František of His Own Kind
For more than 30 years, former government clerk František Krause has had an active interest in ornithology. He studies birds and protects them, building birdhouses and trying to be as close to them as possible. He records birds with mathematical precision, archives his records, and carefully organizes all his information. Gogola’s documentary portrait shows how Krause combines love for nature with a positivist respect for facts and logical thinking. This remarkable symbiosis is fleshed out and subtly ironized by the narration, whose consciously exaggerated emphasis on minor facts subverts the conventional descriptive commentary we are used to hearing in traditional nature documentaries.DETAIL“Here you can see that the youngest branch of the Krause family comes to an end.” “And what will you leave behind?” “Lots of bird houses.”

František of His Own Kind

Jan Gogola ml.
Czech Republic / 2014 / 26 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Jaroslav Kučera A Journal
Jaroslav Kučera was the husband of director Věra Chytilová and one of the most original cameramen of the Czechoslovak New Wave. Footage that he captured in his free time for private purposes served a few decades later as the basis for the creation of a fragile, intimate portrait which dispenses with words. In it, the master of the image freely sketches the innermost space of his family. Thanks to the director’s sensitive selection, we observe scenes of spontaneous posing before the lens and moments of repose, compellingly woven together with a soundtrack by producer Aid Kid. “The most important information about Czech literature of the recent decades can be found in literary journals by Jan Zábrana, Ivan Diviš, and Pavel Juráček. With that in mind, we approached the processing of cameraman Jaroslav Kučera’s film diary.” J. Felcman  

Jaroslav Kučera A Journal

Jakub Felcman
Czech Republic / 2019 / 67 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
noimage
FilmPLACE, inspired by the famous collection of stories by Jan Neruda, returns to the same Prague neighborhood in order to compare its current state with the spirit of a place that (because it is required reading) has imprinted itself on the Czech unconscious. This collage of people and often tragicomic scenes is not just about memory, but provides an unfiltered look at the social changes etched into the old houses.

Tales of the Lesser Quarter 130 Later

Jakub Wagner
Czech Republic / 2011 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Never Happened
“The deed did not occur,” proclaimed Vladimir Mečiar in 1996 on the murder of businessman Róbert Remiáš, which likely had a political motive and with which the Prime Minister himself was likely involved. His infamous dictum is an attempt to negate a documentary that combines an investigative approach with original filmmaking. The director builds her film on interviews with key players in the Remiáš case but does not limit herself to an austere presentation of facts. Alternating different film formats, from black and white film to VHS, she evokes a period of crime and highlights the central theme of confrontation with the past. “I wanted to make a poetic political film. Engagé art should not give up on the style.” B. Berezňáková  

Never Happened

Barbora Berezňáková
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2019 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech 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
Alchemical Furnace
After he finished shooting his last feature-length film Insects, Jan Švankmajer became the protagonist of a film himself. His creative method is partially revealed by Jan Daňhel and Adam Oľha, who spent three years with the internationally acknowledged filmmaker, graphic artist and unorthodox thinker. This allowed them to capture specific situations as well as the artist’s general thoughts on food, fetishes, and the end of both humankind and Western civilization. This playful, associative and tactile portrait, whose fluctuating form provides an outline of various options, is supplemented with the perspectives of friends and colleagues, chiefly Jaromír Kallista, the producer of Švankmajer’s films. The artist’s wife and muse Eva is shown throughout the film through memories, dreams and archive footage.     “We wanted to create a formally independent film that does not copy Švankmajer’s signature style. Just as in alchemy, we based our work on three mutually interconnected principles. Specifically these were Jan Švankmajer, Jaromír Kallista and Eva Švankmajerová. Another very important element was the Surrealist Group, which is Švankmajer’s second family.” A. OľhaQ&A with the filmmakers Adam Ol'ha and Jan Daňhel:
personal program

Alchemical Furnace

Jan Daňhel, Adam Oľha
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2020 / 118 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Dying for Beginners / The Key of Silence
The joint title Dying for beginners brings together two short films that the directors shot together “in hospices, maternity wards, trains, and elsewhere.” They are based on interviews with the same protagonists and about similar subjects, but always as seen from a different angle. The first film, Marek Bouda’s The key of silence explores music and its relationship to old age and death. For instance, it asks what music we can hear in heaven or what music to play after our passing. In Dying for beginners, Bára Kopecká looks at the taboo subject of death in crematoria, among the dying, or in the maternity ward. “I was interested primarily in how music is reflected in the face of the listener when he is moved by it. And silence – the counterpoint to music, a pause in the composition, the end of life... the silence that remains after we are gone...” B. Kopecká

Dying for Beginners / The Key of Silence

Marek Bouda, Bára Kopecká
Czech Republic / 2017 / 58 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Into the Clouds We Gaze
A melancholy portrait of a fan of auto tuning, who – when not behind the wheel of his home-tuned but slowly decaying car – stumbles aimlessly through life. An exploration of the main protagonist’s barren landscape of relationships and of the barrenness of northern Bohemia, where the story takes place. Both these “vacuums” are filled at least temporarily by the roar of engines – heavenly music for Ráďa. Despite an extreme observational format, the filmmaker works with a language full of metaphors that encourage reflection even when the viewer least expects it: in a parking lot in the middle of a loud tuning meet.DETAIL: “I never sleep in the tent. If you sleep in the tent at tuning meets, they’ll knock it down in the morning. When I was in this one club, they knocked down my tent and stuffed potatoes up my tailpipe. That really pissed me off.”

Into the Clouds We Gaze

Martin Dušek
Czech Republic / 2014 / 65 min.
section: Czech Joy
The State Capture
After the murders of the journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, the shooting of the documentary about a new kind of social establishment in which the traditional state structures become replaced with Mafia and oligarchy took a huge turn. By interviewing various persons - lawyers, bloggers, journalist, security experts, and former secret service agents -, the author tries to uncover the complex network of those influencing the Slovakian public space. The investigative film about a country in which the communist regime fell thirty years ago offers overwhelming facts about the unclear relationships among former secret service agents and interest groups, and shows the issues and threats faced by both journalists and the public. “The murder of a journalist raised more questions than just who the killer was. The tragedy illuminated the real picture of social institutions and created a short window when it was possible to capture it with a camera.” Z. Piussi

The State Capture

Zuzana Piussi
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2019 / 79 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
noimage
FilmSOLITUDE looks at six men and women living without a partner even though most of them say that they would like one. In order to show the life of single young people over the course of one year, the director uses a restrained style, focusing on important features of the protagonists’ behavior, their habits, and their surroundings.

Generation Singles

Jana Počtová
Czech Republic / 2011 / 77 min.
section: Czech Joy
Is Everyone Right? Karel Floss and the Others.
A multi-portrait of the history of post-1989 Czech ideas and sensibilities, centered around left-wing Christian philosopher Karel Floss. Circling his ideas on God, truth, and politics like satellites are statements by strongly antithetical individuals including Milan Knížák, Ondřej Slačálek, Noam Chomsky, and Czech nationalist thinkers. Working with a subtle sense of irony, the film is openly inspired by the style of Karel Vachek as it makes use of semantic counterpoints, situational humor and aloof formal elements. The result is a kind of audiovisual riverbed for channeling the fury of a nation that recalls a child that is just learning to think and does not know what to relate to first, because in a certain sense, basically “everyone is right”.DETAIL:“That means that truth unifies, but it unifies without asking us to give up on differences. And so we fling ourselves into the trap of dogmatism – any position is dogmatic if it claims that if there exist truths, then these truths will not accept any differences.”

Is Everyone Right? Karel Floss and the Others.

Helena Všetečková
Czech Republic / 2015 / 124 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
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