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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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TIMEBOX
TIMEBOX
TIMEBOX
TIMEBOX

TIMEBOX

director: Nora Agapi
original title: TIMEBOX
country: Romania
year: 2018
running time: 69 min.

synopsis

Professor Ioan-Matei Agapi, an 80-year-old photographer and cameraman from Iași, Romania, owns a unique collection of 16mm films and photographs documenting almost fifty years of the city’s history. His daughter, also a filmmaker, has decided to make a film about her father's archives. In the unconventional surroundings of his old apartment, he reminisces about the past until one day Ioan is informed that he must leave or be evicted from home where he has spent the past 40 years. Ioan’s years of work suddenly transform into a huge burden, and the film unexpectedly changes into drama in which conflicts with city officials reveal old and hidden conflicts within the family. 

"The deepest thing I learned whilst doing this film is that we are stronger than we think we are." N. Agapi 

biography

Nora Agapi (1974) graduated from the University of Drama and Cinematography in Bucharest. Her credits as a cinematographer include several feature-length documentaries (Decoding Dacia, Leaving Transylvania, Off The Beaten Track, and more) and a number of short documentaries and fictional films. She is also a successful photographer who works with National Geographic magazine, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan, and other major media. 

more about film

director: Nora Agapi
producer: Monica Lazurean-Gorgan
script: Nora Agapi, Maxim Carlan
photography: Nora Agapi
editing: Rita Bakacs

other films in the section

Notorious Deeds
October 1989. A high school student in Bucharest is apprehended for pasting up anti-regime posters and is interred in a secret police building for a number of days. As a result, his family, loved ones, friends, and schoolmates are affected by restrictions. Twenty years later at their class reunion, an excursion begins into memories of that moment of shock etched forever into memory, but for each somewhat differently. Director Gabriel Tempea is more interested in exploring the subjective interpretation from the point of view of “talking heads” than the actual facts. A postmodern form of oral history based on the testimonies of those who have most of their lives ahead of them.“Based on personal, subjective and painstakingly detailed recollections of an exceptional occurrence, I attempted to provide a glimpse at the bigger picture of  atroubled historical period.” Gabriel Tempea

Notorious Deeds

Gabriel Tempea
Romania, Austria / 2015 / 68 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
The 727 Days Without Karamo
This film revealing the senseless nature of Austria’s immigration policy towards inhabitants of the Third World is more than a mere critique of the system. Director Anja Salomonowitz uses intimate stories of mixed couples/marriages to show the power of love. The film’s protagonists are composed into long, static shots that all share a unifying element – yellow. The film finds its emotional core in children’s rooms, since it is here that the young protagonists are at the mercy of mothers in love and the authorities; watching a 10-year-old girl pray for her father to return from Africa sends a chill down our spines.

The 727 Days Without Karamo

Anja Salomonowitz
Austria / 2013 / 80 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Us Against Us
The director and her father take a camera in hand and film each other during interviews in which they discuss schizophrenia, their own pasts, and their personal conceptions of happiness. The film is a personal statement of two people affected by or marked by a mental disorder - a father forced to live with it and a daughter who had to grow up with a sick and often absent father. During filming, they try to find understanding for each other while revealing their inner traumas. One of the secondary topics is what it is like to undergo treatment for a mental disorder in Romania, as the father expresses frustration with the way he and his condition are viewed by the local healthcare system.
personal program

Us Against Us

Andra Tarara
Romania / 2020 / 74 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
My Granny from Mars
Babushka Zina is originally Ukrainian, but because of the current political situation she has remained in Russian-occupied Crimea. Separated from her family, she lives in a forgotten seaside town while trying to decide whether to stay or to leave. The sounds of Russian contemporary music and folk songs add to the atmosphere of her exile town, which is seen through a sensitive lens filled with sentimentality. But the consequences of the unsatisfactory political situation are ever-present in this place, which is like a different planet. The way in which the director records Zina’s relationship to her friends and family betrays a deep respect for this old woman, her life wisdom, and her experiences."After the annexation of Crimea my old Ukranian granny Zina had to face the fact of living on a 'new planet'. For many reasons, the time has come for her to make a crucial decision." A. Mihalkovich

My Granny from Mars

Alexander Mihalkovich
Belarus, Ukraine, Estonia / 2018 / 83 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
The Irreversible Consequences of Slipping on a Banana Peel
A foggy morning in a small Romanian town. Alexandrina returns from Canadian exile from Canada to her withering mother Mary, a former teacher who is being taken over by advancing old-people's dementia. The intimate moments of broken relationships oscillating between acceptance, compassion and helplessness creep into the fate of a nation disrupted by communism, progressing illness, and the increased feeling of loneliness of an aging woman surrounded by her childhood dolls. In a documentary approximation interlaced by internal monologues with her own (imaginary) daughter, we follow the complicated and anxious path to family reconciliation and towards the place of no return. “I believe in a documentary that endorses questioning, anguish, and uncertainty.“ B. Stoica 

The Irreversible Consequences of Slipping on a Banana Peel

Bogdan Stoica
Canada / 2019 / 76 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Journey around the home in 60 Days
The sheer range of Romanian films created as a result of this spring's lockdown has shown us how we can cope with the crisis. A lyrical montage of old footage set within the context of isolation alongside a video art compilation from public cameras around the world evokes feelings of melancholia, whilst a puppet fairytale criticises the establishment and the capitalist machine in a time of crisis. The film is comprised of personal archives reminiscent of a deceased grandmother and functions as both an impressible testimony and an excursion into Romanian history. This mix of genres is accompanied with playful animation and a sci-fi film about an alien’s visit to Earth during the coronavirus crisis.   „The deserted streets look alike one evening in Sokhumi, in Abkhazia, and one afternoon in Buchurest, during the lockdown.“ from Journey Around the Home in 60 Days 
personal program

Journey around the home in 60 Days

David Schwartz, Vlad Petri, Teona Galgotiu, Laura Pop, Andra Tarara, Alina Manolache, Alexandru Solomon
Romania / 2020 / 83 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
Normalization
Nearly 40 years ago, a young woman was murdered in Slovakia. To this day, the group of men who were convicted of this crime have tried in vain to prove that they are the victims of judicial terror. The director, who does not hide the fact that the sympathizes with the convicted, goes beyond their case and indirectly reveals doubts as to the trustworthiness of his country’s judicial system. Only once do most of the convicted appear together before the camera: when their sentences are confirmed in 2006. More than the words, recriminations, anger, and sadness, the viewer remembers their exhausted expressions and the realization that they can never give up.

Normalization

Robert Kirchhoff
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2013 / 100 min.
section: Between the Seas
Czech Premiere
Pretty girl, why have you come, do you want to do my job?
A look at the Armenian people’s campaign to preserve the forest of Teghut, which is threatened by mining. The loosely organized Occupy Teghut movement finds inspiration in Occupy Wall Street while trying to launch an apolitically motivated movement to fight the country’s social ills. This documentary record of an activist march through Teghut forest, and of the bureaucracy involved in entering the area, paints a broader picture of a deplorable societal situation. For the young Armenians, environmental protection begins with redemption from poverty.

Pretty girl, why have you come, do you want to do my job?

Davit Stepanyan
Armenia / 2013 / 62 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
Winter / Miracle
This allegorical docufiction provides the viewer with a lightly meditative and at the same time modern impression of the Christian holiday while paying witness to the transformation of the sacral space and the holiday’s religious message. The film’s anonymous protagonists from opposite sides of the world discuss the paths of their faith in this visually stylised and stylistically edited film. Czech viewers will be entranced by the final church crossover: The wild beach scene is underscored by the song Crazy for You, Jesus, which can be heard at gathering of the Czech sect known as the Triumphal Centre of Faith. The film itself concludes at just such a gathering. 

Winter / Miracle

Gustavo Beck, Željka Suková
Croatia, Denmark, Brazil / 2012 / 60 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
My Family Tree
The turbulent history of northern Europe as seen through the story of one regular family. Against the backdrop of actual events, Latvian director Una Celma unfolds an entertaining docudrama combining re-enacted segments with montages of archival and illustrative footage, all with an ironic and lightly educational narration. The film’s dynamic flight into the past highlights significant historical details – for example, each push of the pedal of a rusty old dental drill helps paint a picture of the sorry state of healthcare in the former Soviet Union.

My Family Tree

Una Celma
Latvia / 2013 / 71 min.
section: Between the Seas
World Premiere
TEACH
The personality of a rural Transylvanian math teacher who teaches his students at home and ignores the existing curriculum, tells us not only about the Romanian school system, but also about society there as a whole. The stubborn elder man follows the words of essayist Constantine Noica, who believes that in an ideal school, there should not be any lessons, but rather students should go there to free themselves from the tyranny of learning. The observational portrait documentary monitors the dynamics of the lessons themselves, where, in addition to mathematics, the problem of education itself is addressed and where the teacher acts like a father fi gure.“I think that if you really want to make something matter within 100 years from now, then you have to educate people first.” A. Brendea

TEACH

Alex Brendea
Romania / 2019 / 82 min.
section: Between the Seas
International Premiere
The Waiting Point
The collective memory of a nation accumulates at a bus stop in Rijeka. Croatians wait aimlessly for a figurative Godot, as the flow of time is illustrated by the decreasing number of cigarettes in boxes along with the departure of the buses. Rijeka is like a crossroads, where the lives of the local community meet those of tourists passing through. The director steps into the black-and-white reality of Croatia with the invisibility of an objective observer. His footage shows people waiting for the bus as a metaphor for Croatians’ endless waiting for change. 

The Waiting Point

Maša Drndić
Croatia / 2013 / 43 min.
section: Between the Seas
Central European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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