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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

Fovea Centralis
Under significant pressure from the government and the media, the Fukushima nuclear power plant released video recordings from its closed circuit camera system. The recordings did not escape the censor’s reach: people’s faces are blurred and in some places, the sound has been removed. Using this material, the director assembled a meditative film-poem that skirts the fringe of video art. Using bricolage technique, the filmmaker combines multiple images, sound disruptions, and written text that are burned into the viewer’s mind like the image of a mushroom cloud on the retina, the center of which – the spot which creates the sharpest vision – is called the fovea centralis.DETAIL:“My forehead and chin lean on bars of cold metal. I hear an unknown’s man voice. The visual field of your left eye is reduced. You have a mark on your retina. It is shaped like an inverted mushroom.”

Fovea Centralis

Philippe Rouy
France / 2014 / 50 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
The New Day
A mixture of documentary and fiction as seen through the eyes of a non-participant observer, this drama presents the life of the fisherman Maldonado. After his wife Celia leaves him, we watch his lonely life in a series of cyclical everyday activities as we listen to Celia’s voiceover. Although it tends to repeat itself, it reveals something new every day. We always observe a different part of the daily work of a fisherman, or see it from a different angle. This sense of conflict is heightened by contradictory motifs on-screen and in the voiceover. Words clash with images, the everyday with the extraordinary, space with time. “Maldonado is a fisherman of the Paraná River. Modern times leave him on a threshold: a way of inhabiting that no longer finds its possibilities. That frailty that cracks into his world is what we intent to film.”

The New Day

Gustavo Fontán
Argentina / 2016 / 62 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Spring yes yes yes
Originally a sound woman by trade, Audrey Ginestet has created an intimate reportage and purely personal experiment: She decided to spend a winter in Japan with a past lover, a man with whom she had a relationship ten years before in France and whom she has not seen since. The cramped little house becomes a stage for monologues on intercultural differences and the possibility of relationships across cultures and between individual beings, combined with the observation of details inside the house and in nature.

Spring yes yes yes

Audrey Ginestet
France, Japan / 2012 / 38 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Buenos Aires Free Party
Banal scenes from the preparations for and during the course of a freetechno party regularly alternate with a frenetic sequences of events from Argentine history to produce a hypnotic and frightening trip. On the one hand is the aesthetic of the music video and its ability to capture the state of entropy across time by using audiovisual repetition and playing with pacing, color and brightness. On the other hand is an effect-free record of real life, specifically the freetechno subculture, whose non-aggressive nature contrasts with the destruction and chaos that rule the surrounding world.  DETAIL: The monotonous rhythm of flying over Buenos Aires is broken by a flash of fear: one frame of an attacking monster.

Buenos Aires Free Party

Homero Cirelli
Argentina / 2014 / 74 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Wishing you the same
The iconic book Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century by Patrik Ouředník, first published in 2001, has transformed the imagination of the French film-maker into an apocalyptic chronicle of the last century. A straightforward testimony of scientific rationality, which led the society to a spiritual crisis and resulted in six genocides, is accompanied with melancholic Mahlerian echoes of La Belle Époque when the world was just getting ready for the century that negated all humanity. The film raises the question whether Europe in post-history and post-humanity, sweetly anaesthetized to collective unconsciousness, will pretend as if nothing had happened. “I wanted to breathe life into Ourednik's amazing text and to present its visions on the screen. The purpose of the resulting film play is to make the viewer reflect on different aspects of humanity.” A. de Mezamat

Wishing you the same

Arnaud de Mezamat
France / 2019 / 95 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
Aftermath
A heterogeneous tetralogy of personal profiles brings together four individuals from different corners of the world of art – pianist and entertainer Fats Waller, painter Jackson Pollock, photographer Janieta Eyre, and painter Frida Kahlo. The ambient collage of turbulent social conditions is infused with intimate moments of artistic immersion. Hypnotic images vibrate with a captivating approach to the subjects’ individual lives. Hoolboom combines documentary footage and re-enactments with experimental collage. Sped-up footage, weightlessly floating cameras, VR, found footage, the patina of 16mm films – all of them tools for redefining the genre of cinematic portrait.„The movie poses this question: how to survive in the aftermath, of the state, of the state of your family, of your body. Artist examples are offered. Perhaps only in the act of doubling, in a crowd scene, can I find this thing I call myself.“ M. Hoolboom

Aftermath

Mike Hoolboom
Canada / 2018 / 75 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Entrance to the End
A dark psycho-ethnographic journey of Maria von Hausswolff and Anne Gry F. Kristensen into the depths of the jungle of the human subconsciousness. The footage from the Panama rainforest was shot on 16mm and all sound was recorded on cassette tapes. The film is a subconscious reaction to Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust, an ultraviolent Italian film from the 1970s, as well as to all romanticizing depictions of nature as a place of harmony which is in balance with both itself and its inhabitants. Balancing between imagination and reality, this work is on of the most uncompromising films at this year's festival."The film is a mysterious poem-like journey through an eerie jungle where the viewer get to meet all kinds of creatures and spirits, living and dead. It's shot on a 16mm bolex camera accompanied by sounds recorded on analogue tapes.“ M. Von Hausswolff, A. G. Friis Kristensen 

Entrance to the End

Anne Gry Friis Kristensen, Maria Von Hausswolff
Denmark, Sweden / 2018 / 33 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Mapping Lessons
Through the diary entries of the film's main protagonist K., we learn about her return from post-revolutionary Russia to her home in Greater Syria, in which, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, individual communities are trying to find a way to autonomy. Thanks to the juxtaposition with the Russian past, presented through shots from Soviet film classics such as Esfir Shub's Spain or Kinoglaz by Dziga Vertov, and the Syrian present, portrayed through various mobile phone footage, the director draws parallels between two incompatible realities and creates a multimedia essay on neo-colonialism and independence.   “After the crushing of our revolution in Egypt in 2013, Mapping Lessons began as a daydream. This film is a visual conversation between political struggles across time and space, from anti-colonial battles against the French and British in the 1920s, to the Syrian revolution in 2011, 1936 Spain, a revisionist memory of Russian Soviets, and the Paris Commune amongst others. This film was my way of relating our current neocolonial condition with the past, all with an eye on what to do the next time." P. Rizk This film will be available in the Czech Republic for a period of seven days after its online premiere. 
personal program

Mapping Lessons

Philip Rizk
Egypt / 2020 / 61 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Aged
Self-appointed family chronicler Philip Hoffman documents his father’s aging process. Images of this once-vital man as captured in the director’s amateur images are confronted by scenes of a sick old man slowly awaiting death at the family cottage by the lake. This experimental film combines intimate home videos (ranging from the director’s childhood all the way to the present as he cares for his incapacitated father) with unique impressions from the surrounding countryside that describe the transience of human life. Sounds of nature, such as water splashing on the lake’s surface or birdcalls, underscore the grainy wordless images.DETAIL:“Hi Daddy, good morning!” (daughter on the phone, enthusiastically) – I just woke up. (mumbling) – That’s good. Did you have a good sleep? – ugh, yes...  (indistinct mumbling) Yes... (hoarsely, losing his voice).

Aged

Philip Hoffman
Canada / 2014 / 45 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
In Your Eyes
This Italian documentary on the daily lives of five visually impaired people is also an experiment based on an analogy between the movie camera and the human eye. The filmmakers have tried to use film technology to show audiences how people suffering from visual impairments see their surroundings. All of the film’s footage is strongly out of focus in order to show how visually impaired individuals see objects around them.DETAIL:“I see it as something restricted to a problem with my eyes. I am partially sighted and I could turn blind by just bringing a child into the world. I could turn blind by simply breastfeeding.”

In Your Eyes

Pietro Albino Di Pasquale
Italy / 2014 / 78 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Time Goes by Like a Roaring Lion
76.5 years – the average lifespan of a German man. 76.5 minutes – the length of this filmic essay on the nature of time. The filmmaker suffers from chronophobia, and he comes to terms with the painful passing of the years with the help of a collage of images and stories emphasizing concrete things. The film possesses an almost obsessive order: one minute, one year of life.An arcane metal apparatus with a flash disappears in the stream of time like the famous DeLorean. In this “back to the future”, however, it is not cinematic magic. The private becomes the fantastic, and memories become sci-fi.

Time Goes by Like a Roaring Lion

Philipp Hartmann
Germany / 2013 / 80 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
Machine Gun or Typewriter
A solitary man broadcasts a programme intended for a single listener on a pirate radio station. He is searching for his lost love, who disappeared without a trace. Images of the city, disappearing buildings and crumbling social structure all reflect his growing sense of loss. His anger intensifies; it threatens to explode. The ambient nature of the duel between recitation and static images crystallises into a radical exercise in meditation, in which intimacy decomposes into fundamental societal elements. A collage presenting the guilty conscience of one American and all of America charts the topography of memory of place and relationship. Wilkerson artfully blends fact with fiction, and intimate autobiographical details with ostentatious exaggeration in a genre he calls “punk-agit-noir”.DETAIL:I’m just sitting in the living room, watching the tv, trying to calm down… You walk out of the bedroom and you’re holding book I gave you… And you start to read: ‘Adapting a position in theory implies putting it into practice.’ ‘Fuck you,’ you say. And you slam the door and leave.

Machine Gun or Typewriter

Travis Wilkerson
United States / 2015 / 71 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt