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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum
Profession: Documentarist
Profession: Documentarist
Profession: Documentarist

Profession: Documentarist

director: Shirin Barghnavard, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Farahnaz Sharifi, Mina Keshavarz, Sepideh Abtahi, Sahar Salahshoor, Nahid Rezaei
original title: Herfeh: Mostanadsaz
country: Iran
year: 2013
running time: 80 min.

synopsis

This group project by seven independent women documentary filmmakers from Iran – who were brought together by the desire to capture the world around them despite the dangers they face in their work every day – is a courageous voice for the emancipation of Muslim women. The autobiographical chapters, which all make use of voiceover, represent a personal testimony on the disappointments and hopes for political change at the next presidential elections. For Western viewers, the film is a remarkable report on the mood in contemporary Iranian society.

DETAIL:
“We Iranian documentary directors have movies that can only be made in our minds. Sometimes, we tell them to each other. This is one of these movies I’m going to tell you now.”

biography

Seven courageous women speak in one voice against limitations on personal and artistic freedom. Led by 38-yearold director/producer Shirin Barghnavard, the group has a wealth of experience in independent filmmaking. Farahnaz Sharifi is one of the most award-winning documentarians of her generation. The Jihlava festival previously showed her Revolutionary Memories of Bahman who Loved Leila (Khaterate Enghelabe Bahman Asheghe Leyla, 2012). Nahid Rezaei and Firouzeh Khosrovani have run up against the Iranian government in the past with their films.

more about film

director: Shirin Barghnavard, Firouzeh Khosrovani, Farahnaz Sharifi, Mina Keshavarz, Sepideh Abtahi, Sahar Salahshoor, Nahid Rezaei
producer: Nahid Rezaei, Shirin Barghnavard
script: Firouzeh Khosrovani, Nahid Rezaei, Shirin Barghnavard, Farahnaz Sharifi, Mina Keshavarz, Sahar Salahshoor, Sepideh Abtahi
photography: M. Reza Jahan Panah
sound: Mani Hashemian

other films in the section

Kiruna – A Brand New World
Apocalyptic depiction of an area literally engulfed by the mining industry is presented in this documentary that observes the eponymous northern Swedish city, part of which was abandoned due to activities in the nearby iron mine. The mining company’s management decided not to halt profitable mining activities and instead made the decision to move the residents of the threatened district. Using footage shot in the city inside the Arctic Circle and directly in the mines, the director has uncovered subtle film imagery, and using the stories of three protagonists now living in a bizarre inter-time, imaginatively addresses the topics of resettlement, tradition, and respect for a particular location. “The dystopian story of Kiruna is about lost people looking for a home in an uprooted city. It shows the dark side of the advanced society, whether in Sweden or the Czech Republic.” G. Stocklassa
personal program

Kiruna – A Brand New World

Greta Stocklassa
Czech Republic / 2019 / 87 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
The Nature of Things
This documentary essay explores the inner world of Angelo Santagostino, a man suffering from ALS, which has left him unable to perform the most basic functions or to communicate without the help of a special computer. The illness has permanently imprisoned him in a wheelchair, but he has maintained a rich inner life. The film conveys Angelo’s dreams, memories, and fantasies in scenes that evoke unfettered movement beyond normal horizons, whether it’s travelling through the universe, swimming underwater, or riding rides at a theme park. The symbolic contrast between his immobile body and his boundless spirit creates a portrait of a person who has maintained admirable dignity in the face of death.„Angelo has been the longest and shortest journey of my life, for sure the most beautiful.” 

The Nature of Things

Laura Viezzoli
Italy / 2016 / 68 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
In Your Eyes
This Italian documentary on the daily lives of five visually impaired people is also an experiment based on an analogy between the movie camera and the human eye. The filmmakers have tried to use film technology to show audiences how people suffering from visual impairments see their surroundings. All of the film’s footage is strongly out of focus in order to show how visually impaired individuals see objects around them.DETAIL:“I see it as something restricted to a problem with my eyes. I am partially sighted and I could turn blind by just bringing a child into the world. I could turn blind by simply breastfeeding.”

In Your Eyes

Pietro Albino Di Pasquale
Italy / 2014 / 78 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Lost Paradise
The life of the filmmaker, also the film’s main character, is determined by a double fear. On one side, her world collapses under the weight of personal and historical tragedies, on the other she is threatened by the loss of the memories of everything that is dear to her. In this documentary, which blurs the lines between personal and public, she attempts to preserve all traces of memories, whether they’re images of her deceased husband or the ruins of local Beirut monuments. Slowly flowing images, virtually free of musical accompaniment, give memory fragments emerging from the surfaces of material things, including the heroine’s body, space to have spontaneous effect. "This film evolves around the notions of disappearance and loss: individual death and disappearance of places, loss of personal memory and collective memory. " R. Mitri

Lost Paradise

Reine Mitri
Lebanon / 2017 / 61 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Dead Slow Ahead
A freighter sails through a barren seascape. Apparently drifting aimlessly. Apparently? A highly enigmatic allegory of the isolation of man and machine in a post-industrial capitalist society, which is as close to techno-pessimistic sci-fi as it is to romantic painting. This story, consisting almost exclusively of the landscape, the movements of workers and machinery, and the ship itself, uses a highly aesthetic style to put across the impression of absolute desolation and disconcertion. The sedative rhythm pulls the viewer into a completely new, unknown world. Bit by bit we come to a realisation and start to ask: is this the last ship of humanity, burdened with the difficult task of keeping in motion that which has long stopped making sense?DETAIL:“Is anybody listening? An entire river is entering through the keel. There’s a lot. The water is reaching the storage tanks. Roger! Roger! Attention! The wheat is getting wet. The wheat. Sir, this is a disaster!”

Dead Slow Ahead

Mauro Herce
Spain, France / 2015 / 74 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Covered with the Blood of Jesus
For Richard, life is an unending cyclical journey to scratch out a living. Fetch water, take diesel from the pipeline, try to sell it by the side of the road, go to school, study in the dorm, fetch water again. If he wants to reach his goal – to get his education and use it to break out of the vicious circle of his life – he can’t stop. In a lively observation, the film director brings us closer to the life of poor Africans in the Niger River Delta. Close to natural heritage of enormous value, a huge agglomeration of residents suffers, to whom massive oil extraction that brutally destroys the environment brings only meagre extra income.DETAIL:“We are taking our oil, we are not stealing, it’s in our village. Europeans are enriching themselves with our resources and leaving us in extreme poverty. The entire world is benefiting from Nigeria but we don’t have access to it...”

Covered with the Blood of Jesus

Tommaso Cotronei
Nigeria, Italy / 2015 / 72 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
A Long Farewell
After years of negotiations, a complex of apartment buildings on the edge of Seoul is heading inexorably for destruction. With the demolition impending, the residents of the buildings slated for destruction try to express what this place means to them. Raya Kim’s minimalist documentary is not built on an apocalyptic mood or kitschy sentiment, but is rather precisely presented in the contrasts between image and sound. Static shots of homes and the surrounding landscape present a portrait of a quiet, seemingly undisturbed everyday life, while detached voices of observers recount their often-dramatic personal experiences, not hiding the uncertainty of what comes next. „What do the actual residents think about the houses scheduled for reconstruction? As with all homes, there are many different forms of time and love.” R. Kim

A Long Farewell

Raya Kim
South Korea / 2017 / 72 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
(T)ERROR
Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a former Black Panther member, is now working for the FBI. His task is to discover signs of terrorism in American Muslim communities. This reportage captures the dimension of paranoia that exists in the USA’s security police in the best tradition of the American investigative reporting style. The director reveals undemocratic principles underpinning the functioning of American democracy.The attempt to uncover a crime before it occurs becomes an exercise in chasing phantoms, leads to a distortion of facts, and spreads feelings of fear amongst often innocent people.DETAIL:“Do you think your present right now is in any way related to your past?” “Well, I don't have a past, I don't even wanna make bring it back up. I really don't.”

(T)ERROR

David Felix Sutcliffe, Lyric R. Cabral
United States / 2015 / 84 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Time Goes by Like a Roaring Lion
76.5 years – the average lifespan of a German man. 76.5 minutes – the length of this filmic essay on the nature of time. The filmmaker suffers from chronophobia, and he comes to terms with the painful passing of the years with the help of a collage of images and stories emphasizing concrete things. The film possesses an almost obsessive order: one minute, one year of life.An arcane metal apparatus with a flash disappears in the stream of time like the famous DeLorean. In this “back to the future”, however, it is not cinematic magic. The private becomes the fantastic, and memories become sci-fi.

Time Goes by Like a Roaring Lion

Philipp Hartmann
Germany / 2013 / 80 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Disappear One
The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma embarks on a trans-Atlantic sea voyage. Their main objective is to make a film about a former member of the theatre company who has mysteriously disappeared. Their creative experiment installs a regime of control that permeates every single part of the ship and which is much more ambiguous and even less sensible than traditional hierarchical forms of power. This film essay, building on Kafka’s Amerika and Guattari’s Project for a Film by Kafka, breaks film language down to the point where it decomposes into interwoven gestures, emotions, glances, voices, sounds and fragments of the story, and hints at the possibility of escape from the system of power into a world of uncertainty, openness, and change.DETAIL:“I came upon a room full of screens, monitored by officials from the Theatre…There were recordings of things happening at that moment, or that had already happened, or that hadn’t yet. They say they can’t know which is which.”

Disappear One

Silvia Maglioni, Graeme Thomson
France, United Kingdom, Italy / 2015 / 117 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
The Interceptor from My Hometown
The Chinese government allows its citizens to file official complaints against their local governments, but at the same time unofficially prevents them from doing so. This documentary is the result of the director’s random encounter with an old classmate whose job is to convince people not to file their complaints. In long monologues by the director’s acquaintance, which take up most of this critical portrait of modern China, we hear a sense of shame at his job, but also helpless resignation  

The Interceptor from My Hometown

Zanbo Zhang
China / 2011 / 90 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Collapse
The basic motif of this experimental film – collapse – is found on both the personal and the societal level. This 10-year filmmaking effort was inspired by one of the directors’ fears that his second child will be born with Down Syndrome. His documentary work with mentally handicapped children helps him come to terms with his sense of guilt. He combines introspection with his activism against evicting people from houses slated for demolition because of urban renewal. The theme of collapse also makes it into the film’s form – it overturns traditional documentary approaches and makes room for an evocative experimentation with real and virtual images.DETAIL:“He could not dare tell anyone how he wanted the child aborted… And the day when he was waiting for the child’s birth in front of the delivery room he said his face full of fear seen in the full-body mirror was abominating.”

Collapse

Jeong-hyun Mun, Won-woo Lee
South Korea / 2014 / 78 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
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Kraj Vysočina
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