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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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XY Chelsea
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XY Chelsea
XY Chelsea
XY Chelsea

XY Chelsea

director: Tim Travers Hawkins
original title: XY Chelsea
country: United Kingdom
year: 2019
running time: 92 min.

synopsis

In 2017, the transgender woman Chelsea Manning was released from prison after serving seven of the thirty-five years she had been sentenced to for publishing, while still the soldier Bradley Manning, secret American videos and documents about the wars in Afghanistan and  Iraq. The film clarifies what led to her actions and her transformation, and also looks at the position of transgender people in the American prison system. It follows Manning from her first steps after her release to meetings with the friends who supported her during her time in prison and her entry into the world of politics, which changes significantly with the presidency of Donald Trump.

“My vision for this film was then, and has remained, a character-driven film in which the personal and political are woven and collide in the most spectacular contemporary style.” T. Travers Hawkins     

biography

Tim Travers-Hawkins was born in Great Britain, but has worked in Argentina and Columbia. He studied film at Cuba’s EICTV film and television school, and immediately celebrated success with his first short animated film 1000 Voices (2009), which, like his short documentary Surpriseville (2010), was shown at numerous international film festivals. XY Chelsea is his feature-length debut.

more about film

director: Tim Travers Hawkins
producer: Julia Nottingham

other films in the section

Another Planet
This animated documentary tracks the making of a freeform compilation of computer models of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The state prosecutor, architect, graphic designer, and others explain their motives for creating them. The resulting mosaic links two themes of how virtual reality can be used: to preserve memory and as a tool to cope with trauma.

Another Planet

Amir Yatziv
Israel, Germany, Poland / 2017 / 48 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
Last Men in Aleppo
The never-ending war in Syria has destroyed everything. Although Aleppo is in ruins, some of its residents have remained. Candid camera shots record the daily routine of the members of the White Helmets, who try to rescue people trapped beneath the rubble. But for how long can a dead city be kept alive?

Last Men in Aleppo

Feras Fayyad
Denmark, Syria, Germany / 2017 / 104 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
The Brink
From autumn 2017 until the 2018 American congressional elections a year later, the director spent time filming with Stephen Kevin Bannon, considered one of the primary architects of Donald Trump’s winning presidential campaign. We observe the former presidential adviser in particular during working meetings with journalists and American and European politicians and businessmen, which he used to spread right-wing views and to consolidate Republican positions of power. Although the controversial strategist apparently attempts to use the presence of the camera to promote himself, the occasional falling out of character reveals that his success is due primarily to prejudices, hypocrisy, and lies that help spread malice and hatred. “I felt he was being given so much power by the image constructed by media. I thought that if we could follow him for an extended period of time we could demystify him, and that would be valuable.” A. Klayman   
personal program

The Brink

Alison Klayman
United States / 2019 / 90 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Weapon of Choice
The Glock handgun is popular among black rappers, Austrian soldiers, and Middle Eastern tyrants. But the person who loves it most is its inventor, Gaston Glock. In this short reportage on the controversial arms industry, Austrian director Fritz Ofner’s clear objective is to demystify the story of a weapon, supposedly invented in a garage, that never fails.

Weapon of Choice

Fritz Ofner
Austria / 2017 / 89 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
The Waldheim Waltz
A cinematic memoir of a time when the Austrian nation underwent a deep crisis of identity. The 1986 presidential elections were marked by the revelation that one of the candidates, former UN general secretary Kurt Waldheim, had lied about his activities during the Second World War. A cinematic exploration of the relationship between memory and the past as a sign of the times.

The Waldheim Waltz

Ruth Beckermann
Austria / 2018 / 93 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Path of Blood
The documentary captures terrorism like never before. Using rare footage from people who belong to Al-Qaeda and forces trying to fight terrorism, it shows an incredibly cruel and raw testimony on the network of one of the largest terrorist organizations in the world.

Path of Blood

Jonathan Hacker
United Kingdom / 2018 / 92 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
Untouchable
This social documentary imitates the process of the investigative journalists who uncovered a whole mesh of intrigue, blackmail, bribery, and cover ups of sexual violence committed by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The film goes from showing the testimonies of the individual victims of the assaults to recognizing and analysing the patterns of compulsive behaviour based on years of long-lived illusions of "untouchability." Accusing an individual in reference to the #MeToo movement becomes an unflattering result of society as a whole. Weinstein's predatory behaviour would not have been possible without looking away from impending evil, self-bought cooperation, and coercion of forced silence. “The pain experienced by Weinstein’s accusers is palpable in the film, but there’s also a sense that private anguish can be transformed into collective strength.” U. Macfarlane  
personal program

Untouchable

Ursula Macfarlane
United Kingdom / 2019 / 98 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Still Recording
A unique documentary study takes us into Syria where, for a period of over four years, we observe the lasting friendship of art students Saeed and Milada. They moved to the rebel town of Douma and record everything they see around them. We experience not only their struggle with hunger, but also the desire for art and so much wanted freedom.

Still Recording

Saeed Al Batal, Ghiath Ayoub
Syria, France, Lebanon, Qatar, Germany / 2018 / 128 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Accidental Anarchist
Disillusioned by the foreign policy of the West, high-ranking diplomat Carne Ross begins to take an interest in anarchist theory and practice. The film captures the unexpected transformation of a supporter of the status quo into a seeker of social alternatives by working with the motif of a journey, which we see from Ross’s passionate perspective.

Accidental Anarchist

Clara Glynn, John Archer
United Kingdom / 2017 / 83 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
Alt-Right: Age of Rage
In the first year of Donald J. Trump's presidency, Daryle Lamont Jenkins, an Antifa activist, combats the rise of the alt-right movement, while Richard Spencer, an alt-right leader, fights to gain ground, culminating in a tragic showdown in Charlottesville.

Alt-Right: Age of Rage

Adam Bhala Lough
United States / 2018 / 105 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
East European Premiere
The Silence of Others
A chronicle of institutional displacement of the mass genocide by the Francoist clergo-fascist regime in Spain. An amnesty along with the so-called “Pact of Forgetting” (1977) have erased political crimes and made over one thousand victims of terror invisible. Historic images and dozens of survivor testimonies present a survey of the struggle against collective amnesia. 

The Silence of Others

Robert Bahar, Almudena Carracedo
United States, Spain / 2018 / 96 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
Free Lunch Society – Come Come Basic Income
The greatest ever change in economic order is within reach! All that remains to be done is to overcome conventional thinking and accept the concept of unconditional basic income. In his montage documentary, the Austrian director simulates the history of the efforts to implement this reform, and, with futuristic playfulness, extrapolates its possible future development.

Free Lunch Society – Come Come Basic Income

Christian Tod
Austria, Germany / 2017 / 95 min.
section: A Testimony on Politics
Czech Premiere
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