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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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IN MY SKIN
IN MY SKIN
IN MY SKIN
IN MY SKIN

IN MY SKIN

director: Anna-Sophia Richard
original title: IN MEINER HAUT
country: Germany
year: 2019
running time: 72 min.

synopsis

The theme of domestic violence is discussed in the public more often than before, but it still remains a burning issue victims are afraid to talk about. The director deals with the issue from an unusual perspective in a stylized documentary: she does not only describe the problem, but lets us experience it together with three female characters, using subjectifying methods based on testimonies of actual victims of domestic violence. Their inner voices describe how diffi cult it is to prevent or break up the relationship with the abuser. Then their actions suggest possible solutions.

“For women, home is the most dangerous place. This movie resulted from the desire to let women tell their stories shame free. The viewer experiences their journey.” A.-S. Richard

biography

Anna-Sophia Richard (1991) comes from the Dominican Republic, and she has studied arts and culture in Guatemala. She has gained her first work experience as a film producer and director. She made her first feature film IN MY SKIN (2019) after further studies at the German Filmakademie Baden Württemberg.

more about film

director: Anna-Sophia Richard
cast: Kristin Becker, Karmela Shako, Elisabeth Ehrlich, Michael Gerlinger, Patrick Joseph, Moritz Vierboom
producer: Astrid Schäfer
photography: Julia Hönemann
editing: Gürcan Cansever
music: Max Clouth, Douglas Greed
sound: Simon Peter

other films in the section

A house
An observational documentary that focuses on the Tentative Association, which helps young people with autism develop independence and socialization skills. Seven autistic people live in a big house and, together with their helpers, they fill their days with household tasks. Community coexistence offers a way for the inhabitants of the house to achieve their desired goals and the sharing of everyday work becomes the primary source of narrative. The film is a careful observation of life in this house. Actions and behaviors speak for themselves, giving space to the primary figures, not to those who make decisions about their lives.   "Thanks to the camera, I was able to get close to the inhabitants of the house. It acted as a kind of a screen between us, a way to avoid direct contact - which is problematic for some autistic people. When I looked at the LCD screen or directly into the optical viewfinder, I was able to really get close to them, which would be impossible with a direct gaze.” J. Auffray, FID interview
personal program

A house

Judith Auffray
France, Switzerland / 2019 / 81 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
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: First Lights
World Premiere
Home of One's Own
Ruba Atiyeh was born in Lebanon but she grew up in exile with the rest of her family. The cinematic experiment Home of One’s Own is an expression of alienation that shaped her identity. Using a camera and candid dialogues, she tries to get closer to her mother and to understand her own nature, her own roots through her mother’s destiny, demands and expectations. The intimate autotherapeutic video diary, where the director’s memories powerfully blend with those of her mother, can be seen as a record of the effort to find a narrative in which we don’t have the role a foreigner.   
personal program

Home of One's Own

Ruba Atiyeh
Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt / 2020 / 80 min.
section: First Lights
European Premiere
Noiseless, Desert Extras
Since the dawn of cinematography, the Moroccan city of Ouarzazate has been a lively center where extras for films with an Arabic theme are found in abundance. This poetic documentary, intentionally using acknowledged staging, shows how the electrifying energy of film flows through the local population. In this “game for real”, the filmmakers deconstruct film as an imitation of life, but one that becomes more than real for the interviewed film extras. This story presents the totality of moving images from a location where you would definitely never look for it."We are concerned about ideologies and fantasies that shape singular communities. In Noiseless we decided to build pictures with the extras of Ouarzazate to reflect on cinema's illusions." G. Lepore, Maciek and Michał Madracki

Noiseless, Desert Extras

Michał Mądracki, Maciej Madracki, Gilles Lepore
Poland, France, Morocco / 2017 / 64 min.
section: First Lights
European Premiere
The Building
In Kharkov, Ukraine lies Derzhprom Palace. The constructivist building, built between 1925 and 1927, was intended to embody the idea of communism. The palace soon became a symbol of the new society and inspired many avant-garde artists, e.g. Mayakovsky, Ejsenstein, Vertov and Dovzhenko. The film captures the current bustling activity of the building at a slow pace and offers a kaleidoscope of different perspectives. Through archival materials - building plans and contemporary film footage - it maps the history of the building and creates tension between the past and present, the new and old parts, the duties of employees and two astonished tourists wandering about.“Like rag-pickers of history, we look at the fragments left over from a time when a new society seemed possible, convinced that history is ultimately about the people who inhabit it” M. Mester, T. Kononenko

The Building

Tatjana Kononenko, Matilda Mester
Germany, Ukraine / 2019 / 93 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
Owner’s Portrait
A fable-like documentary composed of footage from different corners of the planet juxtaposes animals and humans like two separate yet connected universes. Virtually without speech, with a heavy emphasis on the audio component, it tells the story of an island of untamed cats and mysterious antennas that broadcast to the world on long-wave radio a call for liberation from the economic and social ties that bind us. Everywhere the radio waves reach, we see static shots of human bondage and animal freedom, and by linking these contrasting images, an Eisenstein-style montage emerges, with new cinematic meaning.„Everything started with an image in my head: a world without pets. That image became a documentary essay with a science fiction atmosphere, about freedom, work, domestic animals and societies in capitalism.“ J. Maito

Owner’s Portrait

Joaquín Maito
Argentina / 2018 / 80 min.
section: First Lights
World Premiere
Yellowing
The Hong Kong protests of 2014 known as the “Umbrella Revolution” were an expression of some people’s dissatisfaction with the restrictive interventions in local affairs by the Chinese government. The protestors, primarily young people, rejected the limitations on local autonomy made by the communist government. In his first-person participant documentary, director Tze-woon Chan and his hand-held camera become a part of events in the island city. Over the course of 20 chapters (or “memos”), the film’s young protagonists express their feelings and views of the revolution whose cruel historical momentum rolled right over them.“Hearts might change before China’s assumed complete takeover. But I made Yellowing to document the Umbrella Movement, in the hope that our initial intent and belief might be remembered and be reminded of.”

Yellowing

Tze Woon Chan
Hong Kong SAR China / 2016 / 133 min.
section: First Lights
European 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: First Lights
International Premiere
Ghosts: Long Way Home
Picturesque Portuguese countryside is rich in legends about supernatural creatures, souls and witches who guide the locals through their everyday lives, helping them resist the hectic pace of modernity. The author meets the ghost of his late grandmother Marie, who tells him about his family history and mysterious stories imbued with rural superstitions and spirituality. Vivid, sunny images of rural idyll and seemingly real-life dialogues blur the line between a documentary ethnographic study, a family archive and a live-action film about unexplored Portuguese mythology and its thriving tradition. “I wanted to create a fantastic world. I enjoy creating such a world removed from reality, because I feel that my grandmother's beliefs and myths are part of a fantastic world.” T. Siopa
personal program

Ghosts: Long Way Home

Tiago Siopa
Portugal / 2019 / 119 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
God Straightens Legs
At the center of this observational documentary stands the director's mother, Renée, bedridden with an insidious disease. With respect for her mother’s devotional faith, the atheistic-minded filmmaker captures a woman who for religious reasons refused to undergo traditional chemotherapy and waits for a miracle between the walls of her bedroom . While outside the window of the woman's room life goes on day after day, the camera patiently follows the protagonist during her normal activities with which she whiles away the hours - watching TV, talking with friends, praying with a friend, meeting with nurses, as well as routinely cleaning the house."Dealing not only with the trauma of her diagnosis but also with societal reproach for her decision, I wanted to make a portrait of my mother without judgement, instead with empathy, curiosity and patience." J. Walinga

God Straightens Legs

Joële Walinga
Canada / 2018 / 67 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
We Own the Crisis
Greece has been affected by a drawn-out financial crisis for the past several years. The protagonists of this documentary about state power and its impact on individuals comprise a three-member family living in the capital city. Georgia works six days a week; Panagiotis is unsuccessfully looking for a job; and their daughter, Basiliki, is about to graduate. They all live in a house originally owned by Panagiotis’ family. Thus far they have been lucky. Some Greeks have been forced to live in the streets after banks auctioned off their property. How this one family functions is an authentic example of a whole nation in distress. Whether explicitly on camera or concealed in their actions, we can see the helplessness in their daily lives."I think of the Athenians on the streets. I hear them say, 'A hopeless situation forces you to keep on hoping.' " R. Kaufmann

We Own the Crisis

Rebekka Kaufmann
Germany, Greece / 2018 / 65 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
Slits
Physicist Catarina, dedicated to her work and teaching at university, has come close to a breakthrough discovery in her research on quantum mechanics. She discovered a so far unknown level of sound spectrum, which is to become key in new perspectives of looking at the world. This simple film with a powerful concept is not merely a story of a Brazilian female scientist, but it also offers a commentary about our (in)ability to capture reality. The rather non-traditional topic of the film corresponds with its unusual form: it consists simply of very long, seemingly static images. “To keep the possible and impossible in life in tension. To build an escape line from this journey. To create a crack in the wall that surrounds us. That is the most important reason to make films for me.” C. Segundo

Slits

Carlos Segundo
Brazil, France / 2019 / 78 min.
section: First Lights
International Premiere
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