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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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At home, walking
At home, walking
At home, walking
At home, walking

At home, walking

director: Rajula Shah
original title: Pavlechi keli tirtha
country: India
year: 2019
running time: 114 min.

synopsis

This poetic documentary about pilgrims is adapted to the rhythm of their walking. It serves as an act of liberation and knowledge, returning man as well as meditation to the present moment. During the annual pilgrimage through the Deccan Plateau, the differences between the sexes, different religions and castes become blurred. They are all aiming for the same goal. One of the many millions of pilgrims is the author herself, describing her impressions on a journey across the country and her journey in finding herself. Conceptualized as a personal diary, the film also calls for deceleration in an overly technological and fast-paced world.

biography

Indian director Rajula Shah (b. 1974) studied direction at the Film and Television Institute in Pune, where she also works today. In her films like Beyond The Wheel (2005) and Sabad Nirantar (2007), she uses her interest in art and anthropology to explore how ancient traditions affect the lives of today's Indians. She writes short stories and poems and is involved in translating and film journalism.

"I see my role of filmmaker/ poet as a bridge between the ancient ongoing & emergent modern and of decoding the hidden invisible framework on which the visible structure rests." R. Shah

more about film

director: Rajula Shah
producer: Shampa Shah
editing: Lavanya Ramaiah, Rajula Shah
sound: Bigyna Dahal, Rajula Shah

other films in the section

Same River Twice
The two filmmakers who set out in the footsteps of Scottish discover John McGregor describe their film as a road movie. In 1869, McGregor undertook a trip along the Jordan River. Where McGregor sought spiritual renewal, the filmmakers use interviews and random encounters to explore Israelis’ relationship to their homeland.With the Jordan, Heracleitus’ famous statement about rivers could describe the various ways in which people see it. According to the filmmakers, Palestine is never mentioned in the film, and yet it flows through it like an undercurrent.

Same River Twice

Amir Borenstein, Effi Weiss
Belgium / 2013 / 110 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Things We Do Not Say
A video diary by a young Iranian actress, intended for her boyfriend living in exile. A lament of dashed hopes from the contested 2009 presidential elections, which were followed by the largest protests since the Islamic revolution. The filmmaker stages a parallel eight-year-old reality – the pre-election ecstasy is framed by an incomplete rehearsal of Macbeth. We relive situations that cannot be changed and that deeply resonate with the motif of coming to terms with reality. The actor’s hopeless gesture is balanced by a call for resisting totalitarianism and by an homage to the victims of the autocratic regime. The feverish atmosphere of the elections is muffled by the skepticism of the main protagonists – they, too, were once young and naive."Is there a void from which the sense emerges? Can we fill the emptiness by a reality, our own reality? The images that we remember, are they the same images, or reflections of those images?" A. Razi

Things We Do Not Say

Ali Razi
Iran, France / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Time Splits in the River
Four artists decide to make a film where apolitical parents play parts of dissidents from the 1980s. Later, they show them the footage, unfolding discussions about art and politics. A  fascinating conceptual therapy revolving around traumatic  events of the history of Taiwan combines a highly artistic style with the informal, echoing, in the best possible sense, the saying ‘the personal is political’. Idiosyncratic, half-improvised ‘performances’ of the protagonists, who embody a story fromthe life and work of writer Shi Mingzheng, and the visual side of the film, just as poetic as it is funny, make this film a highly personal experience that is difficult to categorize.“Through re-enacting the social minority’s experiences , the filmsheds light on new negotiations between the social majority and other dissidents, while exposing the impossibility of family communication.”

Time Splits in the River

Yu-Ping Wang, Chia-Hung Lee, I-Chieh Huang, Xuan-Zhen Liao
Taiwan / 2016 / 89 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
The Nature of Things
This documentary essay explores the inner world of Angelo Santagostino, a man suffering from ALS, which has left him unable to perform the most basic functions or to communicate without the help of a special computer. The illness has permanently imprisoned him in a wheelchair, but he has maintained a rich inner life. The film conveys Angelo’s dreams, memories, and fantasies in scenes that evoke unfettered movement beyond normal horizons, whether it’s travelling through the universe, swimming underwater, or riding rides at a theme park. The symbolic contrast between his immobile body and his boundless spirit creates a portrait of a person who has maintained admirable dignity in the face of death.„Angelo has been the longest and shortest journey of my life, for sure the most beautiful.” 

The Nature of Things

Laura Viezzoli
Italy / 2016 / 68 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
The Lake
A hand with a camera emerges from a lake. This surreal scene is like a period in the personal correspondence between two Japanese filmmakers. In the director’s mind, the faded 8mm footage depicts artifacts that evoke phantoms of the past. But besides aimless wanderings through the streets of his hometown, a collection of photographs of a women’s wrestling team, or the handmade mask of Mexican superhero El Santa, the camera also shows its own image. In this experimental correspondence written with a camera instead of a pen, the central theme is one of mirrors and reflections representing the connection between subject and object, life and film.DETAIL:“Now 8mm film is going out of existence. I waste valuable film stock by shooting long takes. I shoot long because a bird will fly across the frame. Isn’t this just a way I live my life?”

The Lake

Shin'ichi Miyakawa
Japan / 2013 / 43 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Koudelka Shooting Holy Land
Photographing armed conflict is a huge opportunity for artists, but at the same time it carries a risk of bias or emotional manipulation. Czech photographer Josef Koudelka plunged into this difficult task for the second time: the first time was during the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968. This time he headed for the hotbed of contention between Israel and Palestine. Director Gilad Baram observed him at his creative work for five years – a solitary artist maintaining a discreet distance while physically experiencing the act of photographing. Austere images of landscape divided by concrete walls and barbed wire reveal the horrifying absurdity of the gulf between two nationalities.DETAIL:“I’ve never photographed any armed conflict, because none has upset me as much as the events in my own country – Czechoslovakia. They affected me directly and in that exceptional situation I felt I should get out the best of what’s in me.”

Koudelka Shooting Holy Land

Gilad Baram
Czech Republic, Germany / 2015 / 72 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
20 Cents
São Paulo, June 2013: The local government’s decision to raise the price for a public transit ticket by 20 cents results in a wave of social unrest. The protests are an expression of a more general dissatisfaction among the working classes with their living conditions. However, the mass of protestors does not succeed in achieving a common vision: The carneval-like ethos is replaced by the atmosphere of guerilla struggle, and solidarity by violence. Over several days, this observational documentary places the viewer directly into the middle of the chaotic events. The cadence of kinetic footage of angry mobs, accompanied by tribal rhythms and heavy-metal riffs, is enough to give the viewer a sense of vertigo.DETAIL:“Brazil cannot continue being the country of impunity! Brazil cannot continue sending only poor to prison. It’s time the politicians go to jail.”

20 Cents

Tiago Tambelli
Brazil / 2014 / 52 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Vacancy
The camera observes an American motel along the main highway – just the way many of us imagine the United States. We follow four people inside the room at night, where they have been living in a kind of private purgatory for several years. Their sins are drugs, crime, and bad decisions. The slow flow of scenes and the occasionally blurred image create an atmosphere of being out of time and out of place – which probably just where these four people, incapable of breaking free from the vicious circle of apathy, feel themselves to be. The four documentary portraits combine to form a picture of the depressing life of people nurturing a tiny flame of hope. „,I have been to hell and / back. / And let me / tell you / It was / wonderful‘ (from Louise Bourgeois work)“ A. Kandy Longuet

Vacancy

Alexandra Kandy Longuet
Belgium / 2018 / 80 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
The Deathless Woman
The far right is on the rise again. Racial intolerance is spreading through real and virtual spaces. Which is why a woman buried alive in the Polish forests during World War II comes back to life to commemorate the history of violence against the Roma. Her “avatar” becomes a young researcher visiting locations in Poland and Hungary where Roma have lost their lives both in the distant and recent past. Thanks to the authentic testimonies and staged passages that blur the line between mystery novel and dreamlike horror, buried secrets come to light serving as both a warning and a reminder. “An uncanny series of events led me to a Polish forest. Later I found out this place was the forgotten grave of the Deathless Woman. Looking back now, I realize she'd been there all along, guiding me.” R. Mortimer
personal program

The Deathless Woman

Roz Mortimer
United Kingdom / 2019 / 88 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
In 1946, S.E. Branch clearly shot Bill Spann, a black man, in Alabama. One story of many, it can be said, but this time it’s being unraveled by the great-nephew of the murderer through this political and aesthetically distinctive film essay. During the investigation, he constantly ran in to obstacles, due not only to the prevailing racism, but also the inevitable reflection of his own connection with history. A montage of black and white memories of places, endless drives through red sunsets, and agitating tunes brings the work together in the best southern Gothic tradition, in which “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.” (W. Faulkner)„This time I offered my love and my labor to a film that I wished somehow to be corrective. A film about the worst of my family.” T. Wilkerson

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?

Travis Wilkerson
United States / 2017 / 90 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Ex Press
A passenger train travels across the landscape of the Philippines, while a monologue description of the journey presents fragments of memory and fantasy that look back at the country’s past. This graduate film by debuting filmmaker Jet Leyco is not based on a fixed script, but was made intuitively and spontaneously on location. Documentary approaches are mixed with stages elements in order to create a hypnotic mixture at whose centre lies the search for the unexplained resignation of the police officers defending the train against vandals.

Ex Press

Jet Leyco
Philippines / 2011 / 90 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Smiling on the Phone
This observational documentary investigates the phenomenon of the call centre as a contemporary labor issue. “A”, employed in a Nike customer service centre, decides to document her last weeks prior to her return to Spain. A casually placed camera captures her loneliness, her colleagues, or aimless shots of a room with strange voices and sounds. It reveals the discrepancy between the image, as presented by the media and as it is promoted among employees, and its perception, which we come to know from text messages sent between “A” and “K” that flash onto the screen. The feelings of alienation and demotivation conflict with the requirement to behave more positively and enthusiastically.“Smiling on the Phone explores issues of contemporary labor and highlights the political relevance of documenting the workspace while exploring forms of response and resistance to those work-related images created by the powers.”

Smiling on the Phone

Aitziber Olaskoaga
Netherlands, Spain, United States / 2016 / 38 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt