24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Stories of the 20th Century
original title: Příběhy 20. století
synopsisWe most commonly see Normalization era in Czechoslovakia – the time of social and political repression following the country’s invasion by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968 – through documentaries about dissidents or from old television series. But the dilemmas posed by the totalitarian regime affected everybody. The 16-part series Stories of the 20th Century explores various people’s (students, journalists, miners, secret police collaborators, soldiers, rank-and-file Party members, homosexuals, and many others) responses to the pressure they received not only from the government apparatus but also from those around them.
Three films from the series will be presented by their writers and directors.
Tři filmy představí a debatu o nich povedou režiséři a scenáristé cyklu.
other films in the section
A glimpse into the extraordinary life of a person who far exceeded the conventional perception of what a scientist is: he walked barefoot through the countryside wearing a pilgrim’s hooded cloak, engaged in passionate discussions that lasted for hours, joked and laughed, always friendly, interested in talking to anyone about anything. Tomáš Škrdlant presents materials for the documentary film that they worked on together over the course of many years. Tomáš Daněk presents the scientific and philosophical works of Zdeněk Neubauer. ---Dílnu vedou / The Workshop is led by: Tomáš Škrdlant, Tomáš Daněk
The Joy of Thinking. The Life of Philosopher, Scientist, Poet, and Prophet Zdeněk Neubauer
A record of one of Zorka Ságlová’s last land-art actions in October 1972. In the abandoned Vřísek Castle in the village of Zahrádky near Česká Lípa, a group of invited participants released hundreds of inflated condoms. The action was one of Ságlová’s many land-art interventions such as Laying Napkins near Sudoměř (1970) and Throwing Balls into Bořín Pond (1969). Participants included the members of the Plastic People and their friends. The film concludes with several spontaneous events such as the recreation of the Stalin monument and an improvised concert by Milan Hlavsa in a nearby cave.
Homage to Fafejta
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 15 min.
He drew antennae onto politicians‘ posters and underneath he wrote they are liars, thieves, and corrupt whores. One of his colleagues – also a bus driver – turned him in. The judge in his trial was the wife of one of the defamed politicians. He destroyed private property! He paid 15,000 crowns in damages, but refused any additional punishment. “I have nothing to atone for!” Roman Smetana called out in court. He got 100 days. For the filmmakers, it was not enough to merely document his story – they bought spray paint and hit the streets... (Directors Cut is one episode of the Czech Journal, a new Czech Television documentary series, portraying life of Czech society in 2012. Airing in January, 2013)
Czech Journal. Free Smetana!
Filip Remunda, Vít Klusák
Czech Republic / 2012 / 30 min.
Artists: Zbyněk Baladrán, Daniela Baráčková, Filip Cenek, Vladimír Houdek, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Tomáš Moravec, Lucia Sceranková, Jan Šerých, Roman Štětina Curator: Karina Kottová A selection of films, video-essays and videos in a curatorial concept of Karina Kottová (Jindřich Chalupecký Society) stems from an attempt to systematically merge the approaches of visual artists and the possibilities of presenting their moving image works, which are usually displayed in a gallery setting, in a form of a linear film screening. The connecting motif of the selected works is a certain type of geometry or structural grid, which becomes the holder of a narrative: in some cases a completely abstract one, or even lyrical, in other times engaged, touching upon systems we live in, the question of work, everyday concerns as well as their possible alternatives. The selection itself has its own rhythm; the individual works create the storyline through diverse combinations of text, image, sound and motion. The selected artists have previously been finalists or winners of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. works: Tomáš Moravec, Otázka líbivosti pláště / Question of Superficial Affection, 3'51'', 2012 Zbyněk Baladrán, Teorie práce / Theory of Work, 13'19'', 2007 Roman Štětina, Studio č. 2 (Klapka) / Studio no. 2 (Slapstick), 4'32'', 2013 Barbora Kleinhamplová, MPEG Girl, 8'31'', 2016 Filip Cenek, Bez názvu (Cesta mlhou) / Untitled (Traveling through Fog), záznam z instalace / installation documentation, 4'09'', 2010–2013 Vladimír Houdek ve spolupráci s Hanou Polanskou Turečkovou / In collaboration with Hana Polanská Turečková, Kanoucí šíře / The Trickling Expanse, 18'4'', 2014 Daniela Baráčková, Macocha, 0'40'', 2013 Jan Šerých, Paramnesia, 6'39'', 2009 Lucia Sceranková, Cucurrucucu, 4'28'', 2009
Preparations for a concert by the Plastic People and Aktual in the village of Suchá by Nejdek. The film records the arrival of the band members, moving the equipment, and setting up the stage, but not the concert itself, which took place in absolute darkness and is seen on the film only as a brief shot of someone breathing fire – one of the many pyrotechnical effects that were a part of the Plastics’ concerts. It is a momentary homage to fire-breather, stage technician, and later the drummer for DG 307, Vladimír Vyšín.
Suchá nearby Nejdek
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 3 min.
Gertjan Zuilhof is former programmer for the Rotterdam film festival. Although he is not a China, nor does he speak Chinese, he became good friends with numerous independent Chinese filmmakers. Zuilhof has chosen two recent independent productions to illuminate the situation of independent Chinese filmmakers today –Man’s World by artist/filmmaker Han Tao and Welcome by producer/filmmaker Zhu Rikun. Both deal with police brutality, but do so in very different and stylistically distinct ways. Spoken word is very important in both films – lies as well as the truth.---Dílnu vede / The Workshop is led by: Gertjan Zuilhof
Hidden Welcomes. Speaking the truth in Chinese Independent Film
This graduate project film uses zoom shots delving deep into the landscape to bring images of a smoking chimney and large mining wheel excavators. This portrayal of objects embedded in a landscape gradually being taken over by the army is a colorful visual poem presenting in-depth views of the life of passive nature, which is in sharp contrasting with iconic symbols of civilization.
Czechoslovakia / 1965 / 8 min.
The spoken word plays the main role in this investigative documentary. While the screen remains black, we listen to a conversation between officials and filmmakers who want to shoot a film about lung disease in Sichuan. The audio record exposes the typical strategy of censorship, progressing from false affability to the point of open threats.
China / 2016 / 62 min.
East European Premiere
Using reconstruction methods and the protagonist’s personal commentary, this Flahertyesque documentary takes a look at the life of an 80-year-old man who is raising his three grandchildren, whose mother has died and whose father has abandoned them. It is not, however, merely a lecture about practical activities, but rather about the principles and values he introduces to the children.“In addition to a pure idea, Sýkora inserted immense and pure emotion into his film – love and admiration of a person, honoring his life and his work.” Antonín Navrátil
Vlado, Marienka, Jojo and Grandfather
Czechoslovakia / 1965 / 21 min.
The first-year workshop of the FAMU Documentary Department is led by Vít Klusák, who, together with his students, will present both the concept of the seminar as well as the films resulting from it during the 2015/16 academic year. Each of the five participating students will present two of their films that were selected as their final projects, as well as film exercises that generally cannot be seen outside the academy.In this year’s batch, the audience will learn what may be hidden behind the Czech terms “norník” and “ťapina”, and that the quest to find a partner may be conceived using the refined language of the silver screen. They will also see the news report from a courtroom where unscrupulous individualism comes out the winner in the form of a decadent deviation from the noble ideal of freedom… Discussion is welcome!---The Workshop is led by: Vít KlusákStudents: Jindřich Andrš, Lenka Benešová, Matouš Bičák, Eliška Cílková, Zora Čápová
This workshop will focus on capturing human movement as a form of expression that is equal to spoken and written expression. We will be especially interested in both the spontaneous and the planned use of hands as language, including the unique characteristics of the cinematic recording of the hand’s rhythm and movement. Workshop participants will watch two documentaries: In the Land of the Deaf (dir. Nicolas Philibert, 1993) and Dancing Dreams (dir. Anne Linsel and Rainer Hoffmann, 2010). The first of these (by the director of To Be and to Have) enters the world of deaf-mutes; the second off ers a look at dance rehearsals at Pina Bausch’s Kontakthof with a group of young non-professional dancers.
WORKSHOP American Culture in Contemporary Documentary Cinema
The “Dumpling Feast” was a private event held at the home of Dana and Jiří Němec on Prague’s Ječná Street. The idea for the event came from Ivan M. Jirous, who held the family’s dumpling recipe. Besides showing several people cooking and an improvised concert, the film’s main focus is on a “happening” by Jan Steklík and Karel Nepraš of the Crusader School of Pure Humor Without Jokes – the “measuring of the food.”
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 9 min.