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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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For a Better Life
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For a Better Life
For a Better Life
For a Better Life
For a Better Life

For a Better Life

director: Yasmin Mistry
original title: For a Better Life
country: United States
year: 2018
running time: 10 min.

synopsis

A woman sells her five-year-old son to a French tourist for 100 dollars, but the dream of a better life turns into years of physical and sexual abuse. This animated film looks at young Fekri’s journey during the most vulnerable years of his life. Can he recover enough to leave his family?

biography

Yasmin Mistry (1978) is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and animator. Pervious works include the documentary shorts Feeling Wanted (2015) and My Identity (2016), which have earned her more than 20 awards. 

more about film

director: Yasmin Mistry
cast: Fekri Kram
producer: Yasmin Mistry, Kimberly Dipersia
editing: Maxine Trump
sound: Erich Rettermayer

other films in the section

Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures
Urbanism versus social entropy – working with this contrast, the film attempts to create an extreme portrait of one city district and one era. This experimental video full of unsettling mental and visual noise uses editing techniques based on computer algorithms to create a suggestive demonstration of the decline of the modernist idea.

Zagreb Confidential - Imaginary Futures

Darko Fritz
Croatia / 2015 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
First Feature
Saudi Arabian cinema only recently emerged from thirty-five years of being an underground phenomenon. Before it was legalized, Bentley Brown used his childhood home movie camera to record filmmakers working in the town of Jeddah. The film’s melancholy mood is underscored by the voiceover of the women who form most of the film crew.

First Feature

Bentley Brown
Saudi Arabia / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
A Partial History of the Natural World, 1965
A meditative exploration of the violent struggle for independence in southeast Asia is framed by excerpts from Sylvia Plath’s poem “Tulips”. The central theme is combined in a double exposure with scenes of butterfly metamorphosis. The entire meditation on the year 1965 is accompanied by Bartók’s Solo for Violin 3.DETAIL:As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. The Tulips, Sylvia Plath

A Partial History of the Natural World, 1965

Sasha Waters Freyer
United States, Vietnam / 2014 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Moments of Silence
This compilation of various moments of silence held after tragic events in various parts of the world and at various points in recent history is also a documentary representation of collective human memory. The collage of short scenes without words captures fleeting but forceful moments of solidarity that bring together people regardless of race, religion, or cultural differences.DETAIL:The door opens, and to the sound of camera shutters President Barack Obama and his wife walk down the middle of several rows of people who have gathered to remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Moments of Silence

Lars Bergström, Mats Bigert
Sweden / 2014 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
137 Bullets
The confusion surrounding the situation on the evening of November 29, 2012 forces the public to examine it in detail. This documentary looks back at the events that culminated in the fatal shooting of Melissa Williams and Timothy Russell. Irrationally induced mass hysteria led to their vehicle being following by over 100 policemen.

137 Bullets

Paul Turano
United States / 2017 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Stop and Go
A look at the Balkans migration route in December 2015. Throngs of refugees make their way to Dobova, Slovenia. They get on the waiting buses in an orderly fashion and enter the system. The Slovenian government has had the journey under control for a month. Confined to a single file line, the migrants go through checks, inspections, and wait for the next step.

Stop and Go

Ralph Kronauer, Giovanni Pannico
Germany, Italy / 2017 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
Central European Premiere
The Little One
An unusual animated documentary of the experiences of young Vietnamese who have spent their entire lives in the Czech Republic, living between two cultures. The drawn animation style allows the filmmaker to give the film a natural emotionality, intimacy and poetic stylization.

The Little One

Diana Cam Van Nguyen
Czech Republic / 2017 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
24 Praska St
Lucyna and Krzysztof are a long-time married couple who operate a salvage yard in a socially excluded area of Łódź, Poland. Patrycja Polkowska’s observational documentary captures how the couple transforms the salvage yard every day into an eccentric microcosm where all those who are offended or humiliated can find help.

24 Praska St

Patrycja Polkowska
Poland / 2016 / 16 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
I Was Here
Director Zaina Erhaim has decided to explore her Syrian hometown of Idlib, which is controlled by anti-regime forces. Original footage captures familiar neighborhoods in ruins, where Erhaim leaves what is perhaps the last human footprint. This secretly-filmed documentary presents a visual experience of the loss of home and of meeting loved ones in a new reality.

I Was Here

Zaina Erhaim
Syria / 2017 / 11 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Clean Hands
A grassy area fills with arriving cars. The passengers are given bread and wine and a programme for the religious service. All they have to do is tune in their radio to the right station, and the Sunday service begins. In Daytona Beach, Florida, the concept of drive-in theatres has been adapted for an unusual purpose. DeFilippo’s observational documentary takes a look at this modern church.

Clean Hands

Lauren DeFilippo
United States / 2016 / 9 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Mon amour, mon ami
A film about one of the many forms of love, shot sensitively and without pathos. Daniela and Fouad met purely by chance. She is alone and he needs a residence permit. Over time, their pragmatically motivated relationship weaves the two protagonists into a fragile web of intimacy. But Fouad’s professions of love start to be a hindrance for Daniela.

Mon amour, mon ami

Adriano Valerio
Italy, France / 2017 / 15 min.
section: Short Joy
East European Premiere
Mum, I'm Sorry
The only things they left behind were their personal belongings. They speak volumes about what kind of people they were. What they liked. Who was close to them. What hobbies they had. A film without words. Footage of objects belonging to people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the island of Lampedusa in 2013 and 2015 - people whose lives were extinguished for good.

Mum, I'm Sorry

Martina Melilli
Italy / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
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