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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Once More unto the Breach
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Once More unto the Breach
Once More unto the Breach
Once More unto the Breach
Once More unto the Breach

Once More unto the Breach

director: Michele Manzolini, Federico Ferrone
original title: Il Varco
country: Italy
year: 2019
running time: 70 min.

synopsis

Because of his Russian origins, Italian soldier Romano Isman is called to the front to act as a military interrogator and translator for the fascist bigwigs and the local population. Isman’s narrative mixes a detailed description of the horrors of war and historical testimony with a lyrical disillusioned contemplation on the insignifi cance of the individual in the midst of war. The filmmaker creates a contrast between historicized illustrative images accompanying the narration of the protagonist and images of modern Ukraine and Russia, which to this day are still dealing with the despair and frustration caused by the events of the twentieth century.

Il varco combines found footage of different origins. it's a fictional story populated by presences: ghosts wandering in the Ukrainian steppe, echoes of bloody pasts, and wars still being fought today.” M. Manzolini, F. Ferrone

biography

Italian director and graduate in semiotics Michele Manzolini (1980) and trained historian and political theorist Federico Ferrone (1981) have been creating documentary films together since 2007. They often address contemporary political and historical topics. For many years they worked as producers for the Al-Jazeera television network. Their film Train to Moscow (2013) was screened at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

more about film

director: Michele Manzolini, Federico Ferrone
producer: Claudio Giapponesi
editing: Federico Ferrone, Maria Fantastica Valmori
sound: Simonluca Laitempergher

other films in the section

Dark Matter
A film with almost no words, about things that people do not usually talk about. Army testing has turned an Italian army firing range into a dangerous place for people and all nearby living beings. Not coincidentally, it is a place reminiscent of the Zone in Stalker – a place that arouses curiosity precisely through its forced negation of life. Dark matter is a hypothetical form of matter that does not interact with light. It neither emits nor absorbs light. Dark matter has no radiation and no shadow. And yet, scientists are convinced that it exists.

Dark Matter

Martina Parenti, Massimo D'Anolfi
Italy / 2013 / 77 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European 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
Night's Drifters
Afghan immigrants Sobhan and Hamid fall asleep together underneath a bridge in the big city. Their difficult months-long journey from home has not been rewarded by a better life, but has been shattered by fears of the coming day. They live outside of time, hope extinguished in the French suburbs. Afghan defiance and enthusiasm are fractured within blurry images from mobile telephones and in endless dark nights spent by a makeshift fire. The fate of young immigrants, seen from a distance, offers a topical picture of more than one Middle Eastern country.  

Night's Drifters

Bijan Anquetil
France / 2012 / 45 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
noimage
FilmCOLONY returns to 1961, when Belgian officers helped to assassinate Congo’s Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. Thanks to the film’s protagonist, a former high official, the film is more than a simple look at colonialism, revealing the motivations and arguments of the European elites who considered their claims to African territories to be self-evident.

Spectres

Sven Augustijnen
Belgium / 2011 / 103 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Dissipatio
The strict quarantine in the spring of 2020 reduced the living space of hundreds of millions of people down to just a few square meters. The horizon was limited to the view from the window, boredom permeated the days, and an endless stream of catastrophic rumors emanated from the radio and television. Against the backdrop of his own mental and physical discomfort, the director begins to shoot a video diary. The similarly non-existent static camera records existential monologues as well as activities serving basic bodily needs. This philosophical essay is woven from reflections on the coming transformation of the world and the images that try to capture it.   "During the quarantine Time became something strange. So we stood as still as possible, scared by our own breath, while our home was turning into the kingdom of that new kind of time." F. TicozziYou can watch the director’s introduction HEREQ&A with the director Filippo Ticozzi:
personal program

Dissipatio

Filippo Ticozzi
Italy / 2020 / 39 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
White on White
White on White is director Viera Čákanyová’s video diary that she kept while staying at the Polish Antarctic station, where in 2017 she shot the film FREM (2019), whose main character was an artificial neural network. During her stay, the author chats with various artificial intelligences, leading conversations that touch on the nature of film, art, and the meaning of life while also revealing a way of thinking that’s free from humanity and from an emotionality that forces deep introspection. Footage from her routine, everyday life at the station contrasts with lyrical images of the immaculate Antarctic nature, which the author complements with her own commentary and thoughts provoked by the loneliness of the ice-covered landscape.   „How can you think something fundamentally inhuman? I'm making a film about artificial intelligence, but it's getting harder, more absurd. The Antarctic landscape works like a drug. Am I walking in the white darkness, looking for a sense of relief? I am matter with consciousness, far from thermodynamic equilibrium. That’s is the only thing I can report on.“ V. ČákanyováQ&A with the director Viera Čákanyová:
personal program

White on White

Viera Čákanyová
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2020 / 74 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Things
In this crystalline ambient minimalist film, scenes of an unmade bed slowly alternate with windshield wipers in the rain and a glass of water with sunlight streaming through it. The camera gently touches objects and phenomena of everyday reality. The images are not accompanied by commentary – only in places can we hear the recorded “voice” of things and their surroundings. The viewer’s attention is unavoidably drawn to the texture of image and sound. Shapes, colours, light, background noise, and tones of the environment are fundamental elements that build the atmosphere of the moments from which the film is woven.

Things

Thomas A. Østbye
Norway / 2015 / 48 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
The Room You Take
The world is a theatre. And in every theatre, there are usually backstage spaces that remain hidden from the run-of-the-mill spectator. In this stylized observational documentary, director Marques provides us with a glimpse behind the scenes of smaller Portuguese theatre groups. At a time when metallic monsters in the form of giant demolition bulldozers are razing a traditional theatre building, the marginal position of most theatre outsiders becomes even more depressing. Excerpts of conversations held in front of dressing room mirrors, poetic commentaries, and natural motifs are brought together to create an allegory filled with reflections, both those in the mirror, as well as their equivalents from the theatre that is the world. “I wonder if the proletarian artist isn't already an endangered species. From observational to essayistic, I build this atlas-like film to capture the mirrors of those who take this adventurous survival.”

The Room You Take

Pedro Filipe Marques
Portugal / 2016 / 165 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
29 26
 The film 29 26 is an audiovisual recording of the thoughts and feelings of two sixteen-year-old and two nineteen-year-old girls, who in monologues reveal their concerns and ideas about the life they’ll lead in ten years. The director underscores their speech with stylized and realistic images of themselves, acquired under varying circumstances and on different materials, thus creating an original work of art connecting elements of multiple artistic areas that are close to the author. Long shots of the protagonists’ faces, captured in great detail, are highlighted with expressive illumination and interleaved with poetic, experimentally conceived passages.„‘The world grows with fear next to us‘“ - 29 26, tries to be an intimate and honest tribute/portrait about growing up. Together we create a new space, between performance and film hoping to remember who we were one day.“ P. Velho

29 26

Pedro Velho
Portugal / 2018 / 40 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
noimage
FilmENERGY enters atomic power plants, research facilities, and nuclear waste storage facilities in Germany and Austria. The focused, static shots of control rooms and cracking cooling towers evoke an aesthetic pathos of cinematic meditations upon the fragile beauty of the monstrous world of technological utopias.

Under Control

Volker Sattel
Germany / 2011 / 98 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Passion - Between Revolt and Resignation
Deeply personal and openly political, this documentary chronicles the life of activist Christian Labhart who was framed by Bach's oratorio of Matthew's Passion. The film presents a bitter testimony of the futile waiting for major social change, as well as the personified history of anti-establishment activism. A monologue recapitulating the director's life since 1968 across major historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 9/11 attacks has been interwoven with quotes from left-wing thinkers from Bertolt Brecht to Slavoj Žižek. Newly shot footage illustrates how their warning theses are gradually being fulfilled in a contemporary public space.Fifty years ago I began to fight for a better world. Now I switch between revolt and resignation. With these feelings I began a cinematic trip through the jungle of today’s capitalism. Ch. Labhart

Passion - Between Revolt and Resignation

Christian Labhart
Switzerland / 2019 / 80 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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