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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum
Spectres are haunting Europe
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Spectres are haunting Europe

Spectres are haunting Europe

director: Maria Kourkouta, Niki Giannari
original title: Fantasmata planiountai pano apo tin Evropi
country: France, Greece
year: 2016
running time: 99 min.

synopsis

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.”

biography

Maria Kourkouta (1982) is a Greek filmmaker and photographer living in France. She has been making short documentaries and experimental films since 2008, including the film collage Prelude 02 – 07 (2010, Jihlava 2011) and Epistrofi stin odo Ailolu (2013). For her feature-film debut Spectres sre haunting Europe, she collaborated with Greek author Niki Giannari.

more about film

director: Maria Kourkouta, Niki Giannari
producer: Maria Kourkouta, Carine Chichkowsky
script: Maria Kourkouta, Niki Giannari
photography: Maria Kourkouta
editing: Maria Kourkouta
music: Lena Platonos
sound: André Fèvre

other films in the section

In Your Eyes
This Italian documentary on the daily lives of five visually impaired people is also an experiment based on an analogy between the movie camera and the human eye. The filmmakers have tried to use film technology to show audiences how people suffering from visual impairments see their surroundings. All of the film’s footage is strongly out of focus in order to show how visually impaired individuals see objects around them.DETAIL:“I see it as something restricted to a problem with my eyes. I am partially sighted and I could turn blind by just bringing a child into the world. I could turn blind by simply breastfeeding.”

In Your Eyes

Pietro Albino Di Pasquale
Italy / 2014 / 78 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Lacan Palestine
Fantastical images and semantic collages reveal film as a vital medium of memory. Biblical texts and the metaphor of symbols, Hollywood narratives and literal imagination, a wall of segregation. Like cinematic images emerging from the desert of the consciousness to stimulate our imagination, so too is Palestine searching for its borders and its autonomy. Hoolboom shows Palestine as the setting of a love story without love – with Moses, Abraham, and Jacques Lacan in the main roles.  

Lacan Palestine

Mike Hoolboom
Canada / 2012 / 70 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
At home, walking
This poetic documentary about pilgrims is adapted to the rhythm of their walking. It serves as an act of liberation and knowledge, returning man as well as meditation to the present moment. During the annual pilgrimage through the Deccan Plateau, the differences between the sexes, different religions and castes become blurred. They are all aiming for the same goal. One of the many millions of pilgrims is the author herself, describing her impressions on a journey across the country and her journey in finding herself. Conceptualized as a personal diary, the film also calls for deceleration in an overly technological and fast-paced world.
personal program

At home, walking

Rajula Shah
India / 2019 / 114 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
Time Splits in the River
Four artists decide to make a film where apolitical parents play parts of dissidents from the 1980s. Later, they show them the footage, unfolding discussions about art and politics. A  fascinating conceptual therapy revolving around traumatic  events of the history of Taiwan combines a highly artistic style with the informal, echoing, in the best possible sense, the saying ‘the personal is political’. Idiosyncratic, half-improvised ‘performances’ of the protagonists, who embody a story fromthe life and work of writer Shi Mingzheng, and the visual side of the film, just as poetic as it is funny, make this film a highly personal experience that is difficult to categorize.“Through re-enacting the social minority’s experiences , the filmsheds light on new negotiations between the social majority and other dissidents, while exposing the impossibility of family communication.”

Time Splits in the River

Yu-Ping Wang, Chia-Hung Lee, I-Chieh Huang, Xuan-Zhen Liao
Taiwan / 2016 / 89 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
27 Times Time
Documentary filmmaker Annick Ghijzelings used her visit to Polynesia to shoot a personal meditation on the phenomenon of time. She slowed down the smooth flow of time in order to consider, in 27 short fragments, the various ways time can be represented. She does so by combining poetic narrative with images of the past and slow-motion shots of nature and local life. Gradually, she puts together a multilayered image of time that questions the boundaries between art, science, and philosophy, between advanced civilization and native cultures, and between the past, present, and future."The stories never subscribe to explanations or expert digressions. They are off-camera, barely pronounced, they are whispered in our ear like a secret between friends that beckons sharing."

27 Times Time

Annick Ghijzelings
Belgium / 2016 / 73 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Albâtre
Liquid landscapes, each one absorbed into the next, transform the screen into a painter’s canvas. The digital decomposition of images in live interaction with Carlos Grätzer’s music draw attention to the permeability between traditional and abstract painting as well as to the harmony between the fine arts, film, and music. Shots evoking Monet’s Impression, Sunrise, or Renoir’s secluded forest corners, break apart into a raster pattern and are transformed into a shapeless mass of colors that then grow into a new composition. While the impressionists depicted a static moment, Perconte captures a moment that is in constant motion."Albâtre reflects the desire I had to express the energy of this very special part of France where everywhere the wind carries the sea, where nothing is stable, and where I love so much to film: the coast of Upper Normandy between Le Havre and Dieppe." J. Perconte

Albâtre

Jacques Perconte
France / 2018 / 41 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World 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
Once More unto the Breach
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
personal program

Once More unto the Breach

Michele Manzolini, Federico Ferrone
Italy / 2019 / 70 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
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
Aged
Self-appointed family chronicler Philip Hoffman documents his father’s aging process. Images of this once-vital man as captured in the director’s amateur images are confronted by scenes of a sick old man slowly awaiting death at the family cottage by the lake. This experimental film combines intimate home videos (ranging from the director’s childhood all the way to the present as he cares for his incapacitated father) with unique impressions from the surrounding countryside that describe the transience of human life. Sounds of nature, such as water splashing on the lake’s surface or birdcalls, underscore the grainy wordless images.DETAIL:“Hi Daddy, good morning!” (daughter on the phone, enthusiastically) – I just woke up. (mumbling) – That’s good. Did you have a good sleep? – ugh, yes...  (indistinct mumbling) Yes... (hoarsely, losing his voice).

Aged

Philip Hoffman
Canada / 2014 / 45 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Kiruna – A Brand New World
Apocalyptic depiction of an area literally engulfed by the mining industry is presented in this documentary that observes the eponymous northern Swedish city, part of which was abandoned due to activities in the nearby iron mine. The mining company’s management decided not to halt profitable mining activities and instead made the decision to move the residents of the threatened district. Using footage shot in the city inside the Arctic Circle and directly in the mines, the director has uncovered subtle film imagery, and using the stories of three protagonists now living in a bizarre inter-time, imaginatively addresses the topics of resettlement, tradition, and respect for a particular location. “The dystopian story of Kiruna is about lost people looking for a home in an uprooted city. It shows the dark side of the advanced society, whether in Sweden or the Czech Republic.” G. Stocklassa
personal program

Kiruna – A Brand New World

Greta Stocklassa
Czech Republic / 2019 / 87 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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