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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Skokan
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Skokan
Skokan
Skokan

Skokan

director: Petr Václav
original title: Skokan
country: Czech Republic, France
year: 2017
running time: 93 min.

synopsis

Director Petr Václav calls Skokan a documentary film with fairy-tale aspects, mainly because of its emphasis on authenticity in telling the fictional tale of a Romani recidivist in search of career opportunities at the Cannes film festival. The main character is played a by real ex-con, Julius Oračko, whom the filmmakers got out of prison on parole shortly before the start of filming. The film was shot with just a rough script, which was fine-tuned on the set. The scenes from Cannes were shot during the festival. The ending, which recalls the liberation of an enchanted princess, again feels like a fairy tale.

“We improvised most of the scenes during filming – we used the places we were able to get into and the light that was available. Above all, I tried to capture the experiences of the main character,” P. Václav

biography

Petr Václav (1967) is a leading post-1989 creator of social dramas (Marian, 1996; The Way Out, 2014). He created several documentaries while at FAMU’s department of documentary film, including his graduate film, the medium-length portrait of an aging baroness Paní Le Murie (1993). His first feature-length documentary was Confessions of the Vanished (2015, Ji.hlava IDFF 2015) about the composer Josef Mysliveček.

more about film

director: Petr Václav
cast: Julius Oračko, Zdeněk Godla, Klaudia Dudová
producer: Jan Macola, Tom Dercourt, Sophie Erbs, Kateřina Ondřejková
script: Petr Václav
photography: Štěpán Kučera, Priscila Guedes
editing: Florent Mangeot
sound: Michael Míček, Daniel Němec

other films in the section

The Room of Bones
A poorly equipped and underpaid team of forensic anthropologists is sent to study the countless mass graves in El Salvador, trying to identify the victims using fragments of bodies. Desperate mothers go for DNA tests in the hope of being able to bury the bones of their sons and daughters. Shot in muted colors and with muted emotions, this film on the search for physical and metaphysical remains uncovers the unprecedentedly brutal history of this small Central American country. The impossibility of resolving the local situation is illustrated by the film’s central metaphor hidden in its title: El Salvador is like a closet overflowing with bones, too small for this much death.DETAIL:“How many go into each grave?” “If they’re fat, four. Otherwise, five. If they’re smaller, we fit in six to eight.”

The Room of Bones

Marcela Zamora
El Salvador, Mexico / 2015 / 61 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
Blind Gulliver
In Martin Ryšavý’s new film, the film medium becomes an analogue of the human mind. The artist uses it not only to organize memories, but also as a specific instrument of perception. The film features scenes from visits to Ukraine and Russia, a monologue by a Russian tarot card reader, and the director’s eye exam. Using focus, he creates parallels between the camera and the sight organ; with editing, a web of associations emerges in which personal memories intertwine with observations of public political and social events. Blind Gulliver is a film about searching for perspectives in all senses of the word.“I pass through the world with eyes wide open.”

Blind Gulliver

Martin Ryšavý
Czech Republic / 2016 / 105 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
noimage
FilmCEMETERY prefers the wind in the leaves and the monotonous work of bricklayers over the pompous funerals at the cemetery in the Mexican town of Culiacán, made infamous by the drug trade. This silent meditation on violence focuses on the cemetery caretaker, a witness to the construction of bizarre marble mausoleums and glass-encased crypts for the local drug bosses.

The Night Watchman

Natalia Almada
Mexico, United States / 2011 / 72 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Buenos Aires Free Party
Banal scenes from the preparations for and during the course of a freetechno party regularly alternate with a frenetic sequences of events from Argentine history to produce a hypnotic and frightening trip. On the one hand is the aesthetic of the music video and its ability to capture the state of entropy across time by using audiovisual repetition and playing with pacing, color and brightness. On the other hand is an effect-free record of real life, specifically the freetechno subculture, whose non-aggressive nature contrasts with the destruction and chaos that rule the surrounding world.  DETAIL: The monotonous rhythm of flying over Buenos Aires is broken by a flash of fear: one frame of an attacking monster.

Buenos Aires Free Party

Homero Cirelli
Argentina / 2014 / 74 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Byeway
Activism, direct observation, and situational documentary inconspicuously linger about the constantly delayed construction of the D8 motorway. Local residents, a Brno-based activist and the construction chief shatter the clichés of contemporary documentary film – among other things in who we should root for. The local mixes with the global just like economics and the environment. A beautiful shot of the north Bohemian countryside, set to Wagner’s Tannhäuser. But the viewer intuitively senses that these superficial aesthetics hide a no less forceful sense of irony and doubt.

Byeway

Ivo Bystřičan
Czech Republic / 2013 / 72 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
Everything Has Its Own Time
Viola Ježková’s experimentally conceived film presents real time and cinematic time as something woven into one image. The image layers are often layered over one another, and the audio tracks are intermixed. This very personal documentary is a poetic exploration of memory, consciousness and future expectations as inexorably joined by reality. Filing by before our eyes (before the cinematographic gaze) are scenes from the past and images of everyday life; in the voiceover, inner voices recite fragments of long-ago dialogues between those who have left us but have not left us alone. “How to come to terms with loss? How to treat the remains? How to understand the meaning of memories? When we enter a picture, we leave the frame. We meet ideas of images. And through this encounter we gain a new image – an image for the future.” V. Ježková

Everything Has Its Own Time

Viola Ježková
Czech Republic / 2017 / 29 min.
section: Czech Joy
World 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
The Dangerous World of Doctor Doleček (Czech version)
Kristýna Bartošová has approached the genre of documentary film portraits as a battlefield. This director, who has Bosnian roots, chose to film the story of the Czech doctor Rajko Doleček, who is a very enthusiastic defender of Ratko Mladić, the Serbian general accused of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. In this undeniably moving work, shot with a hand-held camera with no attempt to conceal the presence of the film’s creators, the director, at first cautiously, but with increasing intensity, confronts Doleček about his controversial stance. At the same time, she must come to terms with the doctor’s unshakeable opinion.DETAIL:“I wanted to present a portrait of someone who denies genocide. When I first met Doleček, I thought it would be easy to condemn him. But is it not always easier to judge someone you do not know personally?”

The Dangerous World of Doctor Doleček (Czech version)

Kristýna Bartošová
Czech Republic / 2015 / 72 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
noimage
FilmVHS makes use of footage shot by a Galician sailor on a ship in the North Sea, whose video camera kept him company during his dull life on a freighter. The film’s unusual patina of recorded memories comes from the fact that the original material was shot entirely on VHS, with all its technical deficiencies.

Vikingland

Xurxo Chirro
Spain / 2011 / 99 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
The Difference
The perpetual rumbling of wagons on rusty tracks disappearing on desert horizon. The bleating of goats suffering from heat and thirst. Freight cars with Bedouins and cezve of strong mint tea. The train, carrying tankers filled with water and fuel, cuts through the desert landscape of the never-ending horizon of sand. In the mud huts along the tracks, people live humble lives on the edge of poverty. The tank of water and fuel is the basic unit of measure for survival. The train is the main axis of life for the Bedouins catching their breath in the shadows of the heat and the contours of tranquillity. A desert fugue.  

The Difference

Tommaso Cotronei
Italy / 2012 / 50 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Daniel´s World
Twenty-five year old literary academy student Daniel is dealing with his non-traditional sexual orientation, the perception of which in society is colored by a number of prejudices. He introduces his family, friends, and society to his lot as a homosexual pedophile – and through his creative writing, himself as well. This documentary empathetically captures public and private moments of his confessions. Daniel’s deep self-reflection and emphasis on other than purely sexual values enabled the creators to present the situation of a pedophile completely and humanely. His charm, self-deprecating view, and sense of exaggeration give the film a surprising lightness and wit.DETAIL:“Let’s watch some boys.” “OK, one pedo-anthem, then.”

Daniel´s World

Veronika Lišková
Czech Republic / 2014 / 75 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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