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24th 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

Two Roads
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
personal program

Two Roads

Radovan Síbrt
Czech Republic / 2019 / 80 min.
section: Czech Joy
World 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
Spectres are haunting Europe
The Idomeni refugee camp housed people from the Middle East who were trying to cross the border into Europe. When the Greek police closed the camp, the refugees resisted and blocked a railway line used to deliver goods. Maria Kourkouta’s minimalist documentary not only observes these events but also presents carefully modeled static images that open up the space within and without the frame of view, and in the closing black-and-white sequence offers a poetic commentary. The result is a bleak portrait of a place where endless lines of refugees try to preserve the final remnants of their individual freedoms. “This film is a call to welcome the refugees that cross the European borders, as well as the ghosts that return with them.”

Spectres are haunting Europe

Maria Kourkouta, Niki Giannari
France, Greece / 2016 / 99 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Until Porn Do Us Part
Eulália, a religious and conservative sixty-something woman, must come to terms with a difficult period in her life. Her son has emigrated to Germany, where is a gay porn star. Eulália spends ever more time on Facebook scanning his profile and writing long, mostly unread messages. This dramatically structured observational documentary touches on a number of contemporary issues, including the crisis of the traditional family, how social networks are changing interpersonal relationships, and society’s views of homosexuality and pornography. An unobtrusive look at the LGBT community, humility, and the strength of motherly love."God heard my prayers / He gave me a lovely son / I'll never trade him for anything / Not even for the biggest treasures / Even if I have to spend / My whole life suffering..." J. Pelicano

Until Porn Do Us Part

Jorge Pelicano
Portugal / 2018 / 90 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
Concerning Violence
Frantz Fanon (1925–1961) was an influential political thinker whose opinions influenced the anti-colonialist movement in Africa, especially in Algeria, where he worked as a psychiatrist during the war for independence from France. The title of the Swedish filmmaker’s documentary refers to the first chapter of Fanon’s celebrated – and in its day, banned in France – book The Wretched of the Earth, which defended the rights of colonized Africans. Found footage from the French-Algerian War, shocking in places, features commentary by American singer Lauren Hill, who recites passages from Fanon’s book, whose topics and ideas are still relevant to the current situation even today.DETAIL: “Fanon did not stop at thinking colonization but wanted to do something about it. He gave his time and skill to the healing of those who suffered from violence.”

Concerning Violence

Göran Hugo Olsson
Sweden, United States, Denmark, Finland / 2014 / 85 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
The Judge over the Czech Way
The documentary reflects on thirty years of renewed democracy by way of a court hearing, whose subject matter. The film brings together actors in the roles of the plaintiff, defense counsel and judge with real people who represent Czech society as spectators, witnesses and members of the jury. The film is clearly inspired by a court hearing regarding a two-generation dispute filmed by Czechoslovak Television in 1966. “The story of an idealism and naivety of one and rationality of others. Review of thirty years of a divided society, who did not know about it. ” R. Sedláček
personal program

The Judge over the Czech Way

Robert Sedláček
Czech Republic / 2019 / 84 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Kalado
“There are many teachings in the world – karate, aikido, tai chi, yoga. But none teach you purification. Only kalado,” says the film’s protagonist, the performance artist Sai Kijima. As the viewer listens to his introspective commentary, the camera show him exploring the limits of the body with his strange movements. Kalado is a tool for getting to know oneself, for questioning ingrained ideas about oneself, and for finding one’s hidden identity. The film captures the ritual nature of Kijima’s performances and the manner in which he lets deeply rooted traumas flow forth in a cleansing outburst of creativity. “When I met Sai, I was captivated above all by the fact that he dances and cleans. I was interested in finding Kalado. When we finished filming, he said ‘Life is misunderstanding. Misunderstanding is understanding. This is Kalado.’” T. Tara

Kalado

Tereza Tara
Czech Republic / 2017 / 30 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
My Latest 150.000 Cigarettes
The struggle with the tobacco industry, with the help of infotainment and a video journal, authenticity and stylization. Armed with the facts and dressed up as a giant cigarette, the filmmaker heads out into public, to the gates of tobacco companies, and among politicians. Low comedy and the withdrawal mission of a heavy smoker, all with a clear antihero. Day 2. “All I can do is sleep or get drunk and fall asleep… God, how I want a smoke!” The director/main protagonist speaks with the shaky voice of an addict in detox. The facts speak clearly: “Cigarettes kill more quickly than weapons.”

My Latest 150.000 Cigarettes

Ivo Bystřičan
Czech Republic / 2013 / 52 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
#sandrainuganda
A Czech NGO invited Sandra Kisić, a twenty-six-year old influencer of Bosnian origin, to come to Uganda. She spent ten days in and about the town of Kabala. Besides the local citizens, she was accompanied by a Dutch volunteer who already was on her umpteenth mission. Sandra, on the other hand, saw poverty and technological backwardness for the first time in reality, not just on her cell phone that she practically did not put down. The director captures the clash of seemingly remote, yet equivalent worlds facing up global challenges as an impartial observer to emphasize numerous tragicomic paradoxes. “Instant soup can warm you up, but it won’t give you strength. We can look at Instagram in a similar way, or we can use it as a medium that can present the ‘old school documentary film’ to the younger audience.” F. Remunda
personal program

#sandrainuganda

Filip Remunda
Czech Republic / 2019 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
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
Sólo
Martín Perano is a young Argentinean piano virtuoso and composer whose life has been turned upside-down by mental illness. He spent the past few years in the largest psychiatric hospital in South America, El Borda in Buenos Aires. After his release he returned to the nearly empty house of his parents, where his biggest concern was to learn to live without walls and to go back to the piano, which he played every day in the institute. The director patiently observes Martín’s return; in interviews with his loved ones, he learns more about Martín’s past, lyrically approaching the inner workings of a person obsessed with creation, capable of taking strength from their own hypersensitivity. “The other patients sat in respectful silence listening to this curious sonata of fingers rapping the table. After a few minutes, Martín finished playing. Strong emotions could be read in the eyes of his audience, as though they had been listening to real music.” A. Benki
personal program

Sólo

Artemio Benki
Czech Republic, France, Argentina, Austria / 2019 / 84 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
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