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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Thawathosamat
Thawathosamat
Thawathosamat

Thawathosamat

director: Punlop Horharin
original title: Thawathosamat
country: Thailand
year: 2012
running time: 170 min.

synopsis

This nearly four-hour film encyclopaedia takes us on a tour of Thailand’s many religions, including various forms of animism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Footage is limited to images of rituals, all without commentary and accompanied only with information on the location and the text of short excerpts from the prayers.

In the immense length of the film, the individuality of each ritual dissolves into a flow of colours, lights, shouts, dance, song, music, voices and exploding firecrackers. It is an encyclopaedia that does not emphasize differences but blurs them.

more about film

director: Punlop Horharin
producer: Kanjana Phanumas
music: Ackrawat Yaspan

other films in the section

A Distant Echo
What can the landscape tell us about ancient history and how it is shaped? George Clark’s film essay explores this question through seemingly motionless images of the California desert accompanied by a minimalist chorale. This chosen form emphasizes the at first glance subtle shifts in the nature of the landscape, which becomes a stage for negotiations between an Egyptian archeologist and the members of a native tribe regarding the ancient graves hidden beneath the sand. The result is a multilayered tale that uncovers traces of the past, the ecology of the landscape, and cinematic history in locations that were once used to film Hollywood epics. “Existing in the resonance between ecological, cinematic and sonic domains, A Distant Echo explores the mythical continuity of sand as site for history, transformation and preservation. The things we cherish must sometimes be buried.”

A Distant Echo

George Clark
United Kingdom, United States / 2016 / 82 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
The Room You Take
The world is a theatre. And in every theatre, there are usually backstage spaces that remain hidden from the run-of-the-mill spectator. In this stylized observational documentary, director Marques provides us with a glimpse behind the scenes of smaller Portuguese theatre groups. At a time when metallic monsters in the form of giant demolition bulldozers are razing a traditional theatre building, the marginal position of most theatre outsiders becomes even more depressing. Excerpts of conversations held in front of dressing room mirrors, poetic commentaries, and natural motifs are brought together to create an allegory filled with reflections, both those in the mirror, as well as their equivalents from the theatre that is the world. “I wonder if the proletarian artist isn't already an endangered species. From observational to essayistic, I build this atlas-like film to capture the mirrors of those who take this adventurous survival.”

The Room You Take

Pedro Filipe Marques
Portugal / 2016 / 165 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
She Sings
Past memories and flashes of future disappointment follow a 19-year-old Bhutanese girl to the capital city of Thimphu, where she hopes to fulfill her singing ambitions on a television song contest. The ambient nature of the scenes and dialogues creates a lo-ficomingof-age story in a country where television was not officially permitted until 1999. A mystical oscillation between Buddhism and pop culture, broken into stories and images of drunken venerable old women, loitering monkeys, and tears of disappointment and comfort in a community of kindred souls.  

She Sings

Dechen Roder, Caroline Sascha Cogez
Denmark, Bhutan / 2012 / 48 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
I Am the People
January 2011 in Egypt was marked by anti-government demonstrations. While tens of thousands of protestors gathered in Cairo, poor villagers in the country’s south followed the tense situation on Tahrir Square on their TV screens and in the daily newspapers. It is from their perspective that this documentary captures the political changes in Egypt, from the toppling of President Mubarak to the election of Mohamed Morsi. The film reveals the villagers’ hopes and disappointments, and shows that despite the wild events, very little has actually changed in their lives.DETAIL:“If I were a judge in his trial, I’d immediately give him the death penalty.”

I Am the People

Anna Roussillon
France / 2014 / 110 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Our Nixon
During Watergate, the FBI confiscated more than 500 reels of Super 8 film shot by Nixon’s advisors Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Chapin. The films spent 40 years locked in a government safe. Our Nixon uses this “found footage” as the basis not for an experiment in form, but for a humorous, playful and pertinent commentary on the line between privacy and politics. “All of Nixon’s men” smile as they run towards the camera, a circus bear circles on a motorcycle, and a pop hit of the time goes: “You’ve been around for such a long time now.” A home video becomes the opening sequence for a television series.

Our Nixon

Penny Lane
United States / 2013 / 85 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
The Deathless Woman
The far right is on the rise again. Racial intolerance is spreading through real and virtual spaces. Which is why a woman buried alive in the Polish forests during World War II comes back to life to commemorate the history of violence against the Roma. Her “avatar” becomes a young researcher visiting locations in Poland and Hungary where Roma have lost their lives both in the distant and recent past. Thanks to the authentic testimonies and staged passages that blur the line between mystery novel and dreamlike horror, buried secrets come to light serving as both a warning and a reminder. “An uncanny series of events led me to a Polish forest. Later I found out this place was the forgotten grave of the Deathless Woman. Looking back now, I realize she'd been there all along, guiding me.” R. Mortimer
personal program

The Deathless Woman

Roz Mortimer
United Kingdom / 2019 / 88 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International 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
Disappear One
The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma embarks on a trans-Atlantic sea voyage. Their main objective is to make a film about a former member of the theatre company who has mysteriously disappeared. Their creative experiment installs a regime of control that permeates every single part of the ship and which is much more ambiguous and even less sensible than traditional hierarchical forms of power. This film essay, building on Kafka’s Amerika and Guattari’s Project for a Film by Kafka, breaks film language down to the point where it decomposes into interwoven gestures, emotions, glances, voices, sounds and fragments of the story, and hints at the possibility of escape from the system of power into a world of uncertainty, openness, and change.DETAIL:“I came upon a room full of screens, monitored by officials from the Theatre…There were recordings of things happening at that moment, or that had already happened, or that hadn’t yet. They say they can’t know which is which.”

Disappear One

Silvia Maglioni, Graeme Thomson
France, United Kingdom, Italy / 2015 / 117 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Koudelka Shooting Holy Land
Photographing armed conflict is a huge opportunity for artists, but at the same time it carries a risk of bias or emotional manipulation. Czech photographer Josef Koudelka plunged into this difficult task for the second time: the first time was during the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968. This time he headed for the hotbed of contention between Israel and Palestine. Director Gilad Baram observed him at his creative work for five years – a solitary artist maintaining a discreet distance while physically experiencing the act of photographing. Austere images of landscape divided by concrete walls and barbed wire reveal the horrifying absurdity of the gulf between two nationalities.DETAIL:“I’ve never photographed any armed conflict, because none has upset me as much as the events in my own country – Czechoslovakia. They affected me directly and in that exceptional situation I felt I should get out the best of what’s in me.”

Koudelka Shooting Holy Land

Gilad Baram
Czech Republic, Germany / 2015 / 72 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Same River Twice
The two filmmakers who set out in the footsteps of Scottish discover John McGregor describe their film as a road movie. In 1869, McGregor undertook a trip along the Jordan River. Where McGregor sought spiritual renewal, the filmmakers use interviews and random encounters to explore Israelis’ relationship to their homeland.With the Jordan, Heracleitus’ famous statement about rivers could describe the various ways in which people see it. According to the filmmakers, Palestine is never mentioned in the film, and yet it flows through it like an undercurrent.

Same River Twice

Amir Borenstein, Effi Weiss
Belgium / 2013 / 110 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Rock on Bones
An encounter between a French director and the Russian punk band The Oz launched a more than two-year journey between Paris and St. Petersburg. Captivated by the band’s charismatic singer Igor Salnikov, Caroline Troubetzkoy decides to help The Oz break through in the West. In return, she gets an exclusive opportunity to learn about the history of Russian rock’n’roll and its politically charged contexts, and gains access to rare footage for a highly personal film that exceeds the definition of documentary and tends towards performance.DETAIL:“Western vinyls arrived in the country as contraband, but nobody could afford the price. So some clever guys had the bright idea of inventing an illegal machine that could copy these vinyls on pieces of medical X-rays.”

Rock on Bones

Caroline Troubetzkoy
France / 2014 / 154 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
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt