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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Vivos

director: Ai Weiwei
original title: Vivos
country: Germany, Mexico
year: 2020
running time: 112 min.

synopsis

At the end of September 2014, a group of students from the Ayotzinapa School of Education was brutally attacked by the police and masked assailants while passing through the city of Iguala. Six people were killed and another forty-three are missing after being abducted. Since then, their relatives have been living in uncertainty, unsuccessfully asking government authorities for the truth. In their minds, the victims are still alive. By alternating meditative, lyrical images and intimate interviews with the survivors, Ai Weiwei builds a complex, overly empathetic account of the tragedy caused by the repressive practices of a corrupt state where justice is almost impossible to obtain.

 

„The film is not an investigative documentary. It puts aside the facts uncovered by investigations into the case, paying more attention to how human survival is maintained under such circumstances. How does an ordinary family, after losing a loved one, face this society? How do they face themselves in their domestic lives? They must confront a reality they are unprepared for, which is the need to demand justice from the government and society.“ A. Weiwei

biography

Ai Weiwei (1957) is an award-winning Chinese contemporary artist, filmmaker, and civil activist. He studied animation at the Beijing Film Academy and, after studying in New York, founded the avant-garde art group Beijing East Village in China and worked on several significant art, literary and architectural projects. After four years spent under house arrest, he moved to Berlin in 2015, where he opened his own studio. In his work, he uses a wide range of media from sculpture to film to social media.

more about film

director: Ai Weiwei
producer: Ai Weiwei
photography: Ernesto Pardo, Carlos Rossini, Bruno Santamaría Razo, Yan Ma, Ai Weiwei

other films in the section

Overland
Over the course of five years, a pair of documentary filmmakers visited the American prairies, the Mediterranean coast, and the Mongolian steppe to better understand one of the longest-running, human-predator relationships – falconry. Lauren, an anthropologist, travels the world and teaches injured eagles to fly and hunt again. Giovanni left Rome and lives in the countryside with just hawks, wolves, and horses to keep him company. The Khalifa, meanwhile, is preparing his falcon for the races in Dubai. All three continue to develop a tradition in majestic natural scenery that is as endangered today (as are some species of birds of prey) due to a vanishing wilderness, declining cultures, and the fragility of the ecosystem.      „Overland is a place of openness. For us, it is about he need to wake the wild in ourselves if we are going to protect the wild on this earth.“ E. Haviland James, R. La Noue   Q&A with Elisabeth Haviland James, Revere:  
personal program

Overland

Elisabeth Haviland James, Revere La Noue
United States, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, Mongolia, Azerbaijan / 2020 / 104 min.
section: Testimonies
European 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
Peter Handke - In the Woods, Might Be Late
This documentary portrait explores the life and works of the Austrian author Peter Handke (1942). Through interviews, quotes, and archive materials Corrina Belz takes a look at the life and thoughts of this famous artist. She has created an empathic and inspirational film about the perception of reality and how it is transformed into a work of art, initiating questions about how one should live.

Peter Handke - In the Woods, Might Be Late

Corinna Belz
Germany / 2016 / 89 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Recovering Industry
An experimental metric film that layers various images of the Czech automotive, chemical, and heavy industries from 2009 to the present and conceptually combines them with aesthetic alterations to the image. Economic crisis and recovery are expressed in varying sharpness, color, saturation, contrast or brightness.

Recovering Industry

Andrea Slováková
Czech Republic / 2015 / 19 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
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
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 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
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
RES CREATA - Humans and other animals
Technological advances and cultural development have disrupted the balance between humankind and other animals. Instead of looking at similarities, we focus on differences. Co-existence has been replaced by dominance. We have forgotten that we live in a house that does not belong only to us. However, the ties between humans and other inhabitants of the animal kingdom have not been irreversibly broken. In his visual essay, which is both intimate and philosophical, Alessandro Cattaneo focuses specifically on those things that connect us. The statements of thinkers and idyllic shots of interspecies interactions indicate that if we change the way in which we think about animals, it will be beneficial for the entire ecosystem.     “I loved animals, but from a distance. The film was an exploration of a new territory when we started to shoot the film. From that day on, I experienced being so close to so many animals. You feel really naked when you are two feet away from black horse and a man riding him without a saddle.” A. Cattaneo Q&A with Allessandro Cattaneo:  
personal program

RES CREATA - Humans and other animals

Alessandro Cattaneo
Italy / 2019 / 80 min.
section: Testimonies
East European Premiere
Vita Activa - The Spirit of Hannah Arendt
The provocative thesis that people who commit evil can be accused only of the stupidity with which they follow orders and of possessing a dull and stunted consciences is one of philosopher Hannah Arendt’s best known and radical ideas. This biographical documentary looks at her interesting personal life in the turbulent 20th century.

Vita Activa - The Spirit of Hannah Arendt

Ada Ushpiz
Israel / 2015 / 124 min.
section: Testimonies
Czech Premiere
Wrong Elements
Joseph Kony, the self-appointed leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, abducted tens of thousands of children in northern Uganda over the course of twenty-five years and trained them to kill. In the interview led by the film’s director, the trio of narrators return to the site of their captivity and, with a touch of bizarre humor, replay the merciless daily routine of their stolen childhood in the bush.

Wrong Elements

Jonathan Littell
France, Belgium, Germany / 2015 / 133 min.
section: Testimonies
Central European Premiere
Chicago Boys
This narrative documentary, containing a large volume of period materials, tracks a group of Chilean economists who were influenced by their study of Friedman’s neoliberalism in the USA. They helped to shape Chile as Latin America’s economic crown jewel during Pinochet’s regime. This controversial economic experiment has led to the current social unrest in the country.

Chicago Boys

Rafael Valdeavellano, Carola Fuentes
Chile / 2015 / 85 min.
section: Testimonies
East European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
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