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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Sound is Innocent
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The Sound is Innocent
The Sound is Innocent
The Sound is Innocent
The Sound is Innocent

The Sound is Innocent

director: Johana Ožvold
original title: The Sound is Innocent
country: Czech Republic, France, Slovakia
year: 2019
running time: 68 min.

synopsis

In this documentary essay, the director personally presents the history of electronic and experimental music from the pre-war years to the present day. The film takes place in an almost dream-like space-time that serves both as a recording studio and as a museum of technological artifacts, which allow the filmmaker to take playful grasp of the concept of talking heads. The sonically and visually layered excursion to the beginnings of the efforts to liberate and conceptualize sound is also a debate about the forms, possibilities, and perspectives of the acoustic relations to the world, in which the voices of the past constantly overlap with the sounds of the future.

„Music documentaries usually tend to build a monument to a composer, band or subculture… My aim was to treat this topic in an essay-like style, using all available means that film as an audiovisual medium offers.” J. Ožvold

biography

Actress, musician, writer, singer, curator and filmmaker Johana Ožvold (1983) made her first short films at FAMU, where she began studying in 2009. For Hi, I'm Doing Fine (2013), she won a prize at the Festival of Film Schools in Poitiers, France, and her diploma film Black Cake (2016) won the 33rd FAMUfest.

more about film

director: Johana Ožvold
producer: Kristýna Michálek Květová, Ivan Ostrochovský, Jean-Laurent Csinidis, Katarina Tomkova
script: Johana Ožvold, Lukáš Csicsely
photography: Šimon Dvořáček
editing: Zuzana Walter
music: Martin Ožvold
sound: Adam Voneš, Martin Ožvold

other films in the section

Czech Journal: The Limits of Work
Journalist Saša Uhlová spent six months exploring working conditions at the worst-paid jobs in the Czech Republic. She spent several weeks in a hospital washroom, at a poultry plant, behind a cash register and at a waste sorting facility. Her experience formed the basis for a very personal series of reports about people working invisible jobs under shocking conditions, published on the A2larm.cz website. Apolena Rychlíková has turned these articles into a documentary film consisting of scenes shot at Uhlová’s home and of video footage taken at her places of work, accompanied by Uhlová’s read commentary.“I spent several months close to my protagonist, who never once placed herself above those whose lives she has tried to show us. Perhaps this film of our era will, with time, reach even those whom it affects.” A. Rychlíková

Czech Journal: The Limits of Work

Apolena Rychlíková
Czech Republic / 2017 / 70 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Vana - The Biggest Race Is the Life Itself
The Great Pardubice Steeplechase, broken bones, clinical death. The extreme life of the mercurial jockey, trainer, and steeplechase cyborg Josef Váňa is marked by an obstinate devotion to horses, racing, and a determination to take on any challenge. His rough personality and often choleric behaviour resonate with passion and business strategy. After a 15-year hiatus, the iron will of this legend of socialist racing tracks managed a comeback (even without the mythical Železník) and again took first place.  

Vana - The Biggest Race Is the Life Itself

Jakub Wagner
Czech Republic / 2012 / 86 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Eternal Jožo, or How I Met a Star
"An untraditional documentary portrait reveals the complicated personality of the Slovak music legend Jožo Ráž, the singer for the pop-rock group Elán. From recordings of everyday situations, playful moments, intimate conversations about God and death, and memories of the past, the director composes a complex image of a man loved by the masses, who, despite all his life successes, feels lonely. Convinced of the importance of opening up to worlds that are foreign to us, the director shot the film over the course of ten years, succumbing to a nascent friendship, and his personal approach reveals the protagonist's civilian metaphysics, his “natural ability to live in the universe with God.”     "Filming is characterized by an ambivalence between the serious and the unserious; between sharing, rapprochement, distance, and conflict: Ráž's universe falls within a constellation of cocoa and whiskey, music and family, dictatorship and meditation, brevity and eternity, glory and screwdriver, God and nothingness, or even The Smurfs and Gargamel.” J. Gogola Jr.   Q&A with Jan Gogola ml. :  
personal program

Eternal Jožo, or How I Met a Star

Jan Gogola ml.
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2020 / 81 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
The Invisible Hand of the Market: Privatization of Barrandov
The documentary looks at the post-Velvet Revolution transition to a market economy using the privatisation of Barrandov Studios as a case study. Important actors during these events (V. Marhoul, L. Helge, J. Knoflíček, M. Ondříček, J. Šustr, P. Pithart, T. Ježek) describe the story of de-nationalisation against the backdrop of the demands of the post-revolutionary period (among other things, we are reminded of Milton Friedman’s visit to Prague). The film opens with a quote by Karl Jaspers on the purpose of guilt in self-examination, and closes with a mediation upon ownership as the art of administrating.  

The Invisible Hand of the Market: Privatization of Barrandov

Martin Kohout
Czech Republic / 2012 / 60 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Show!
A surprisingly intimate portrait of how the dream of running one’s own business can take on monstrous contours. Managed by the father of one of the singers, over the course of five years the girl band 5Angels had reached the gates of pop fame. But it is a path paved not only with the songs of Michal David, but also with the dogged determination of a man who loses any notion of where his role as manager ends and his role as parent begins. An emotionally moved Karel Gott, five angelic girls, and one overly involved father, thanks to whom the behind-the-scenes pre-Christmas atmosphere melts away just as rapidly as the fat should disappear from the belly. “A singer can’t be a lard bucket!”

Show!

Bohdan Bláhovec
Czech Republic / 2013 / 69 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Vratislav Effenberger or Black Shark Hunting
In the spirit of this master of poetics, David Jařab approaches his portrait of leading Czech postwar surrealist Vratislav Effenberger as a game. He invited members of the local surrealist group to talk about Effenberger in places where he stages absurd encounters and interrelationships. The main theme is Effenberger’s unrealized (unrealizable) screenplays, which the filmmakers attempt to enact during the film. This surrealistic hunt for Effenberger’s imagination is capped by an interview with his son full of ambivalent personal memories. “Effenberger’s work with absurd humour and the principle of game enabled him to subversively attack the outer and inner realities of everyday life. This vision is close to mine and to the vision of my film.” D. Jařab

Vratislav Effenberger or Black Shark Hunting

David Jařab
Czech Republic / 2018 / 84 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
To rule, to work, to earn, to pray, to collapse
This commentary on the collapse of civilization in four acts contains trace elements of Islamophobia, atheism, tabloid media, Mark Zuckerberg, mouldy bread, demonstrators, migrant labourers, Egyptologists and scepticism. An extensive exploration of the transcendental questions of a metastasising civilization, presented through microscopic examples from Czech society. The society of excess and collapse, illustrated through the simplicity of children’s games on a playground.Seen from a voyeur’s vantage point on a balcony, children’s games reveal complicated issues of civilization’s entropy – naive creatures as metaphors for complex and complicated social mechanisms of power, control and subjugation.

To rule, to work, to earn, to pray, to collapse

Andran Abramjan
Czech Republic / 2013 / 40 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Will the World Remember Your Name?
Fetal ultrasound screening. Tourists pointing their mobiles at themselves using selfie sticks. Mannequins in store windows. People walking down the street examining their reflections in glass storefronts. Photographing models for 3D printers. A series of commonplace scenes shows us the various forms of images and depiction with which we surround ourselves, which we use to observe ourselves, understand ourselves, and also form and archive ourselves. At the same time, the question asked in the film title points out how our attention is shifting from words to images. The issue is no longer whether the world will remember our name, but whether we can imprint our image into its memory. “In the main role: The ego.” M.-M. Kochová

Will the World Remember Your Name?

Marie-Magdalena Kochová
Czech Republic / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Pilgrimage to the Mountains
Art historian and theorist Jiří Zemánek and his friends set out on a nine-day pilgrimage from Prague to Sněžka, one they’ve done many times before. These modern pilgrims, inspired by the walking journey of the poet Karel Hynek Mácha, who completed the trip with Eduard Hindl in 1833, discover the beauties of the Czech landscape, read excerpts of poems and observations from Mácha's notebook, and observe a world in which untouched nature and modern civilization meet. The lyrical, meditative film, interwoven with humanism, offers an insight into the inner minds of pilgrims longing to merge with the world, highlights poetry as a tool for transforming human perception.     "And then there is no choice but to take one's meager belongings onto one’s back and set off. Jirka might read a poem on the road, perhaps from Mácha, Jeffers or Josef Hora, and our minds are open to the unknown. We already know that there is nothing to be afraid of: the path will set us straight and guide us, connect us with the landscape, with the clouds, with the starry nighttime sky. With ourselves.” K. Čtveráček   Q&A with  Karel Čtveráček and Jiří Zemánek:  
personal program

Pilgrimage to the Mountains

Karel Čtveráček
Czech Republic / 2020 / 82 min.
section: Czech Joy
International Premiere
Feral
Charlie Soukup is a Czech underground songwriter and Charter 77 signatory. He emigrated in the early 1980s, and has spent the last several decades living on his own in the Australian outback as a hermit and Buddhist. Documentary filmmaker Jiří Holba sought Soukup out on his large property in the bush, where he builds secret shelters and lives away from civilization. The film, which Holba shot entirely alone on location, presents spontaneous conversations and situations that fully capture Soukup’s distinctive charisma. The film’s series of monologues are a kind of stream of thoughts that are part mad rambling and part insightful observations on life. “I’m interested in a film as a poem, a touch of life, a wave of a magic wand, a sudden burst of a spark in the infinite darkness, a solution of a puzzle. No beginning, no end, everything in a compact space. And love.” J. Holba

Feral

Jiří Holba
Czech Republic / 2018 / 72 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
Apparatgeist
The concept of Apparatgeist expresses how mankind’s relationship with technology evolves and how it transforms our social contacts. In a similar fashion to the authors of this theory, James E. Katz and Mark Aakhus, the film’s director has also focused on the current phenomenon of mobile phones. It takes us to an allegorical space of the apparatgeist, a barren, inhospitable place where cell phones act as small windows into different worlds of internet mundanity and bizarreness, and as a reflection of our interaction with a digital device. “How much do we hide behind our smartphones and use them to expose ourselves? To what extent is it possible to imprint ourselves into images composed of ones and zeros?” M.-M. Kochová

Apparatgeist

Marie-Magdalena Kochová
Czech Republic / 2019 / 11 min.
section: Czech Joy
World Premiere
The Dangerous World of Doctor Doleček (Czech version)
Kristýna Bartošová has approached the genre of documentary film portraits as a battlefield. This director, who has Bosnian roots, chose to film the story of the Czech doctor Rajko Doleček, who is a very enthusiastic defender of Ratko Mladić, the Serbian general accused of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. In this undeniably moving work, shot with a hand-held camera with no attempt to conceal the presence of the film’s creators, the director, at first cautiously, but with increasing intensity, confronts Doleček about his controversial stance. At the same time, she must come to terms with the doctor’s unshakeable opinion.DETAIL:“I wanted to present a portrait of someone who denies genocide. When I first met Doleček, I thought it would be easy to condemn him. But is it not always easier to judge someone you do not know personally?”

The Dangerous World of Doctor Doleček (Czech version)

Kristýna Bartošová
Czech Republic / 2015 / 72 min.
section: Czech Joy
Czech Premiere
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