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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Sólo
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Sólo
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Sólo

Sólo

director: Artemio Benki
original title: Solo
country: Czech Republic, France, Argentina, Austria
year: 2019
running time: 84 min.

synopsis

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

biography

Parisian Artemio Benki (1971) has lived and worked in Prague since the early 1990s. In 1994 he founded Sirena Film to be able to direct the short fictional documentary Moon Valley, which won the Ecumenical Jury award at the St. Petersburg Festival. He produced the films Marguerite (2015), Personal Shopper (2016) and Academy Award-nominated A Royal Affair (2012).

more about film

director: Artemio Benki
producer: Petra Oplatkova, Artemio Benki, Rebecca Houzel, Sergio L. Pra, Arash T. Riahi
script: Artemio Benki
photography: Diego Mendizabal
editing: Valeria Racciopi, Jeanne Oberson

other films in the section

Never Happened
“The deed did not occur,” proclaimed Vladimir Mečiar in 1996 on the murder of businessman Róbert Remiáš, which likely had a political motive and with which the Prime Minister himself was likely involved. His infamous dictum is an attempt to negate a documentary that combines an investigative approach with original filmmaking. The director builds her film on interviews with key players in the Remiáš case but does not limit herself to an austere presentation of facts. Alternating different film formats, from black and white film to VHS, she evokes a period of crime and highlights the central theme of confrontation with the past. “I wanted to make a poetic political film. Engagé art should not give up on the style.” B. Berezňáková  
personal program

Never Happened

Barbora Berezňáková
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2019 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
Talking About Adultery
In open testimonies by husbands, wives, and lovers, this highly stylized introspective fi m presents different forms of marriage and searches for the meaning of this institution in our post-consumerist society. Through a visually dominant text conversation between the central couple R. and B., the viewer gradually begins to identify with the stories of anonymous heroes who balance fulfillment of love and sexuality in relationships, cope with their frustration, or describe the rediscovered value of marriage. Metaphors and collages reflect the filmmaker’s perspective, and ultimately a surprising twist of life connected to the filming. “Infidelity is actually a boring topic, yet it can be quite telling about one.” B. Jíchová Tyson
personal program

Talking About Adultery

Bára Jíchová Tyson
Czech Republic, United States / 2019 / 72 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
FREM
The film is a reaction to the current wave of post-humanist thinking caused by the development of technology and artifi cial intelligence as well as the climate crisis. The human species is beginning to realize its insignifi cance and transience, and human identity has found itself in a crisis. The fi lm FREM attempts to refl ect this feeling and creates a dehumanized and alienated view of landscape and nature beyond human perception of reality. Incomplete thoughts and fragments of dialogue, diverse music interrupted by rushes and glitches, and the seemingly confused, unanchored camera, create a disturbing, philosophical refl ection on the limits of anthropocentric thinking. "Making this film was an extreme experience, in every aspect, not only physical, since we shot in Antarctica. I had to think un-thinkable. Leave the prison of anthropomorphism behind. Stop being human." V. Čákanyová
personal program

FREM

Viera Čákanyová
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2019 / 73 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Jaroslav Kučera A Journal
Jaroslav Kučera was the husband of director Věra Chytilová and one of the most original cameramen of the Czechoslovak New Wave. Footage that he captured in his free time for private purposes served a few decades later as the basis for the creation of a fragile, intimate portrait which dispenses with words. In it, the master of the image freely sketches the innermost space of his family. Thanks to the director’s sensitive selection, we observe scenes of spontaneous posing before the lens and moments of repose, compellingly woven together with a soundtrack by producer Aid Kid. “The most important information about Czech literature of the recent decades can be found in literary journals by Jan Zábrana, Ivan Diviš, and Pavel Juráček. With that in mind, we approached the processing of cameraman Jaroslav Kučera’s film diary.” J. Felcman  
personal program

Jaroslav Kučera A Journal

Jakub Felcman
Czech Republic / 2019 / 67 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Dying for Beginners / The Key of Silence
The joint title Dying for beginners brings together two short films that the directors shot together “in hospices, maternity wards, trains, and elsewhere.” They are based on interviews with the same protagonists and about similar subjects, but always as seen from a different angle. The first film, Marek Bouda’s The key of silence explores music and its relationship to old age and death. For instance, it asks what music we can hear in heaven or what music to play after our passing. In Dying for beginners, Bára Kopecká looks at the taboo subject of death in crematoria, among the dying, or in the maternity ward. “I was interested primarily in how music is reflected in the face of the listener when he is moved by it. And silence – the counterpoint to music, a pause in the composition, the end of life... the silence that remains after we are gone...” B. Kopecká

Dying for Beginners / The Key of Silence

Marek Bouda, Bára Kopecká
Czech Republic / 2017 / 58 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Love Me If You Can
In other countries, sexual assistance for disabled people is an established concept, but it is only just getting started in the Czech Republic. Documentarian Dagmar Smržová approaches the subject in a style reminiscent of the films of Erika Hníková. She has chosen three handicapped men and one trained sexual assistant, and follows them in everyday situations, casually asking them various questions. The film explores a subject that, although it is a serious social issue, the public has either ignored or finds controversial. Above all, however, she offers a sensitive look at the intimate lives of people living with disabilities.“... we cannot choose whether we are born good looking or not so good looking, strong or weak and that’s why we should reach out and help each other with things one can and the other can’t do – including making love…”

Love Me If You Can

Dagmar Smržová
Czech Republic / 2016 / 63 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Techsquat
The new form of community living called techsquat is open to all creatives, entrepreneurs and managers who want to share their personal and working space-time with similar-minded people. Five young people living together in a Prague apartment like to think of techsquatting as a progressive and stimulating lifestyle. The filmmakers follow their daily lives as they test the viability of this idea. Their observational approach based on long static shots does not prevent them from engaging in a bit of sarcasm – as hinted at in their choice and ordering of scenes and fully revealed at the film’s end.DETAIL:“Quality – it’s basically an attribute of things, like how we spend our time or something that works well. I think that people can be of good quality, too, and I firmly hope that there are a lot of quality people here.”

Techsquat

Tereza Bernátková
Czech Republic / 2015 / 36 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
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
Czech Journal: Near Far East
This film about the situation in presentday war-torn Ukraine originated over the course of a year as the director’s travel journal. Ukrainian teacher Tania, who works in Prague as a cleaning lady, takes the fi lmmaker along to visit her family in Transcarpathia. The director also meets with his friends who are local journalists, and with Petr, a revolutionary who gives an atypical tour of the residence of Viktor Yanukovuch. Observational, mostly static shots, in which Remunda appears only occasionally as a witness or moderator, is accompanied by his off-screen commentary offering reflections on his own relationship with Ukraine and with the media in general.DETAIL:“Drug addicts have been eradicated as a social class. So there’s none here.” “And where are they?” “I’d say they’ve gone for treatment. They’re sick people. They should be treated. There are all kinds of ways. They’ll get a shovel and dig trenches.”

Czech Journal: Near Far East

Filip Remunda
Czech Republic / 2015 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Nekyia: Inner portrait of the poet Hradecky
Poet Daniel Hradecký is the main actor of of this inter-genre film about a journey into the depths of his own consciousness. The black and white documentary parable looks into the human soul with interplay of sounds and raw images. Several episodes take place in the rough landscape of North Bohemia, accompanied by dramatic music. Their narrative includes fragments of the poet’s texts and his memories, reconstructed in the film: Daniel starts a shift in a factory, or he meets the devil in the dark. The film maps the poet’s inner world, and sinks deeper and deeper to the bottom of the raw imagination with him. “Is the man who likes dreaming happy?” A. Hospodářský The protagonist of the film, Daniel Hradecký will be reading poems as well works of other author after the screening of the film on Friday 25.10 in 18:00 in the Café Etage. 
personal program

Nekyia: Inner portrait of the poet Hradecky

Albert Hospodářský
Czech Republic / 2019 / 25 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Non-Parent
With her documentary study of the current form of the family, the director follows up on her earlier film Generation Singles. By looking at six different stories, she presents various views and opinions regarding partnership and parenthood – what does shared custody look like, how does a single parent raise children and how do lesbians? How do patchwork families function, how is it with adopted kids and how is it with people who have decided to never have any at all? In intimate on-camera interviews, the participants explain their decisions, however voluntary, and reflect on the causes and consequences of their (non-)functioning families or partnerships. “Changes in the concept of family are a sign of the times. Today there are many different forms of cohabitation. I am not judging whether the fact that the family is changing is good or bad. I am merely recording this trend because it affects us all.” J. Počtová

Non-Parent

Jana Počtová
Czech Republic / 2017 / 83 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
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