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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Tadmor

Tadmor

director: Gabriela Bussmann, Slim Lokman, Monika Borgmann
original title: Tadmor
country: France, Switzerland, Lebanon, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
year: 2016
running time: 103 min.

synopsis

Tadmor bears witness to one of the worst Syrian jails while showing the incredible strength of desire to live. Eight former Lebanese prisoners act out and describe the horrific experiences, feelings of fear and hopelessness, and the systematic torture and abuse that was intended to physically and mentally destroy the detainees.

biography

This film collaboration between independent German journalist Monika Borgmann (1966) and Lebanese publisher Lokman Slim (1962) began with the feature-length documentary Massaker (2004), which earned international screenings and seven awards, including the Fipresci at the Berlinale.

more about film

director: Gabriela Bussmann, Slim Lokman, Monika Borgmann
producer: Philippe Avril, Monika Borgmann
photography: Talal Khoury, Rami Nihawi
editing: Olivier Zuchuat
music: Pierre Jodlowski
sound: Rawad Hobeika, Rayan Obeydine, Chadi Roukoz

other films in the section

Zero Days
This investigative documentary explores Stuxnext – a top-secret cyberattack engineered by Israel and the USA against Iranian nuclear facilities. In addition to presenting a collection of facts and interviews with experts, it also reveals the information search process. The film very forcefully draws attention to the power of computer weapons and the risk of a global cybernetic war.

Zero Days

Alex Gibney
United States / 2016 / 116 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Frame 394
This analytical documentary follows the young Canadian Daniel Voshart, who became involved in a high-profile American police shooting case. We are presented with a study of a conflict between an academic interest to determine the true course of events and morality, personal interests, and public emotion. Is any person’s view of a situation ever objective?

Frame 394

Rich Williamson
Canada / 2016 / 29 min.
section: Testimonies
European Premiere
In the steps of Trisha Brown
This documentary captures the moments when the colleagues of Trisha Brown (1936), the choreographer who changed the face of post-modern dance, pass on their knowledge to a new generation of dancers. The film reveals the magical world of innovative and captivating movement, which requires a large dose of imagination, concentration, and deep feeling in every part of the body.

In the steps of Trisha Brown

Marie-Hélène Rebois
France / 2016 / 79 min.
section: Testimonies
International Premiere
The Campaign Against the Climate
An investigative documentary unravels the net of complex relationships and motivations behind the groups that refuse to acknowledge potentially fatal impacts of the climatic crisis. Research and predictions of climatic experts and specialists from other related fields of science are questioned by communication specialists who reduce the issue to a task of finding convincing arguments to be fed to the general public. Given the world of lobbying and post-truth we live in, it's hardly surprising that some of the most influential anticlimactic think-tanks are financed by the biggest producers of fossil fuel. A gripping insight into the art of deception starts in 1988, the year when the world was getting ready to fight the climatic change. Ever since then, oil companies have worked behind the scenes, supporting or even organizing events in order to destroy or at least slow down environmental movements struggling to protect our planet, and to make the society turn against them.     “Mads Ellesøe is a journalist who can take on both the fine details and the big perspective. Both the compassionate portrait and the big revelation.”     You can watch the director’s introduction HERE Recorded Q&A with the director:
personal program

The Campaign Against the Climate

Mads Ellesøe
Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium / 2020 / 53 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Hong Kong Moments
From June to November 2019, acclaimed Chinese director Zhou Bing filmed massive protests of Hong Kong residents against the law of extradition, and conceived his film as a monumental presentation of a historical turning point of “free” Hong Kong. Using various documentary material from the protests and numerous drone shots, he was able to create a professionally fine and well-edited mosaic of opinions of seven different people who, despite the fact that their subjective truths may dilute the essence of the fight against the dictatorship in People’s Republic of China, show the meaning of their fierce and (temporarily) victorious struggle for democracy. „We filmed seven Hong Kong people during three months. The protagonists including a front-line protestor, a First-Aider, a taxi driver, a local tea house owner, a police force, a district councillor and a young girl who participated in the election. They live in the same city but have different lifestyles and values. I tried to record their story from a calm and objective angle, in a direct film way.“ Z. Bing
personal program

Hong Kong Moments

Zhou Bing
Hong Kong SAR China, Germany / 2020 / 90 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Capital in the 21st Century
In the more than six hundred pages of his best-selling Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty explores why the one-sided accumulation of capital leads to increasingly greater social inequalities and the transformation of a democracy into an oligarchy. Director Justin Pemberton has taken this book, rich in graphs, numbers and complex economic terms, and transformed it into an energetic audiovisual lecture, which, with the contribution of leading economic experts, explains the history of the complicated relationship between power and prosperity. This alluring kaleidoscopic collage humorously exposes the weaknesses of capitalism and points out what we may lose if we fail to reverse current developments.     “While we were making the film, I thought of Capital as a wild animal that can be really destructive when it’s just left to roam and follow its instincts but actually can be tamed and used for good and under the right circumstances.” J. Pemberton  
personal program

Capital in the 21st Century

Justin Pemberton
France, New Zealand / 2019 / 103 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Ambulance
This film provides a raw look at the summer 2014 bombing of Gaza, accompanied by the never-ending search for and treatment of the wounded, and the clearing away of blood and human remains. The young Mohamed Jabaly joins an ambulance crew and, under the constant threat of sudden death, brings a chilling eyewitness account from a place dominated by the chaos of war, despair, and fear.

Ambulance

Mohamed Jabaly
Norway, Palestinian Territories / 2016 / 80 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
The Jump
Like many citizens of the Soviet Union at the time, Lithuanian seaman Simas Kudirka believed that a better future awaited him in the West. On 23 November 1970, when the Sovetskaya Litva he was on passed by the USCGC Vigilant, he decided to take advantage of the opportunity and jumped no less than three metres from the Soviet fishing boat onto the US Coast Guard patrol boat. This bold attempt of his to obtain political asylum caused social upheaval and prompted some very important dialogue between the two world powers. The dramatic re-enactment of this curious incident also reveals how radically the US government’s attitude towards refugees has changed since the Cold War.Q&A with the director Giedrė Žickytė:
personal program

The Jump

Giedrė Žickytė
Lithuania, Latvia, France / 2020 / 85 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
The Dilemma of Desire
The clitoris mainly serves for female pleasure and has long been ignored by modern medicine until recently. While a woman's body has always been considered an erotic symbol, a woman's sexual desire has always been considered less important than a man’s or even taboo. Biologist Stacey Dutton, queer activist Coriama, designer Ti Chang, and artist Sophia Wallace point out how cultural, political and religious norms ruled by patriarchal society have led women to suppress their own desire. Each of them tries to demystify the established perception of female sexuality and, thus, end phallic dominance. Because without the equality of pleasure, there can be no equal society.   „The Dilemma of Desire is a film that connects the consciousness of clitoral facts -- THE TRUTH -- with a female empowerment that is way beyond sexual satisfaction.“ M. FinitzoQ&A with the director Maria Finitzo:
personal program

The Dilemma of Desire

Maria Finitzo
United States / 2020 / 108 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Stuff As Dreams
In a collage of private scenes and fragments of medialized events as part of the “war on terror”, Guli Silberstein uses his typical method of digital image degradation with the help of compression algorithms to draw attention to the actual process of remediating images and thus in two way raises questions as to their representation, credibility, and the emotions that they can carry.

Stuff As Dreams

Guli Silberstein
United Kingdom / 2016 / 6 min.
section: Testimonies
World Premiere
The Viewing Booth
Lying at the heart of the film is Virginia Woolf's rhetorical question whether we really perceive the images of war in the same manner. These considerations provoked the director of the film to carry out an unusual audiovisual experiment. He presented several volunteers with 40 videos published freely on the Internet, which depict various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Closed in the viewing booth, they can play any of the clips, stop them at will, replay them, and comment on them. Their act of viewing, however, is recorded. And the director's dialogue with one particular participant eventually becomes an essential part of the film.     “It’s a film about a breakdown of communication, but that also becomes dialogue, although it’s a problematic dialogue.” R. Alexandrowicz Q&A with the director of The Viewing Booth Ra'ananem Alexandrowiczem:
personal program

The Viewing Booth

Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Israel / 2019 / 72 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Kandahar Journals
What Louie Palu experienced during the four years he spent covering the war in Afghanistan as an independent reporter exceeds the possibilities of photography. A montage of images, diary entries, commentaries, and authentic video footage creates a bleak document with an atmosphere as inhospitable as the Afghan landscape. This film may serve as a catharsis even for its makers.

Kandahar Journals

Louie Palu, Devin Gallagher
Canada / 2015 / 76 min.
section: Testimonies
East European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
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Kraj Vysočina
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