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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

The Spacecraft Diaries 2016
The director and his camera dive into the world of small organisms. Insects, clams and mushrooms are shot in macro close-ups to create richly textured video images. The filmmaker’s presence in the footage reflects man’s interference in the natural order of nature. Hirofumi Nakamoto publishes his 2016 Spacecraft Diaries.

The Spacecraft Diaries 2016

Hirofumi Nakamoto
Japan / 2016 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Lamp in the Ceiling
Contrary to popular belief, rape most often occurs among those who know each other and those who are close, all in a seemingly safe home environment. This documentary draws attention to the problem and reconstructs the memories of victims of sexual violence whose testimony manages to free a standard furnished apartment of its aura of innocence.
personal program

The Lamp in the Ceiling

Anette Svane
Norway / 2019 / 7 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
April
The ferry's name was Sewol (which means the passing of time), and it happened in April (which is Sawol in Korean). The tragic death of a larger number of people affected the film’s director to such a degree that she decided to make this contemplative miniature, which brings together reflections about the absurd accident and interpersonal distances with 3D animation of personal living space.DETAIL:“It was not my life. It was someone else’s. It was not my tragedy. It happened to others. There was no particular reason why I survived. Nor was there any reason why they died.”

April

Oh Eun Lee
France / 2015 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
European Premiere
Mud road
A three-hundred-kilometer unmaintained dirt road is the only way to reach the nearest hospital from a remote African village. Through naturalistic observational camerawork, the film captures the journey of an ambulance driver in southern Ethiopia struggling to overcome all possible obstacles in order to safely deliver a laboring woman to the doctors.
personal program

Mud road

Francesco De Giorgi
Ethiopia, Italy / 2019 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World 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
The Cake
An observational look at the interaction between two elderly women: 100-year-old Ema and her six years younger sister Zosie. The camera sensitively documents how these two once famous hostesses try to bake a cake at their advanced age. In so doing, it offers a perceptive portrait of their personalities and their relationships.  

The Cake

Małgorzata Goździk
Poland / 2017 / 18 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
What to Do While Trains Pass By
A group of five school-aged youths spend their free time in front of a graffiti-covered wall. In the rough area near the train tracks we observe the process of rap being created. The free way the youths speak and off-the-cuff texts accompanied by music emanating from their mobile phones say a great deal about way they perceive the world.DETAIL:“We’re glad we’ve got each other. We’ll always be together. We are gypsies. We love each other. Bro, you gotta understand, this is no fairy tale. Spit it out. I’m standing here in front of the camera and have no idea what to do.”

What to Do While Trains Pass By

Karl Friis Forchhammer
Denmark / 2015 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
International Premiere
The Marshal’s Two Executions
The films confronts two different views of the execution of General Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader during the Second World War. On one side is silent black-and-white footage of the execution as recorded in 1946 by cameraman Ovidiu Gologanl; on the other are scenes from a biographical film shot in 1994 by director Sergiu Nicolaescu.

The Marshal’s Two Executions

Radu Jude
Romania / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Enemy Within Me
The story of a young girl looks into the issues surrounding the self-harm phenomenon. It seems that physical pain relieves inner anxiety and loneliness. Teenagers perceive their own bodies as the only thing they can influence and control; pain and blood can induce a sense of independence and true existence. Despite the scars all over her body, our heroine finally manages to find a way to come to terms with herself and her life.
personal program

The Enemy Within Me

Milja Viita
Finland / 2019 / 6 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
Interiors & Exteriors
The filmmaker tracks one aspect of life in a diverse Muslim community: prayer. This standard daily activity may take place even in the hustle and bustle of a busy street. This single-take short documentary focuses on people as they walk in front of the camera and uses details to classify them into different castes.

Interiors & Exteriors

Ashique Mostafa
Bangladesh / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Short Joy
World Premiere
The Creation As We Saw It
Three mythical stories as told by the inhabitants of the Melanesian island state of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean, set against a backdrop of black-and-white footage of the place of the stories' origin. They reveal the mysteries behind the creation of man and woman, the reasons why pigs walk on all fours, and how volcanoes were made. A domesticated wild pig rests on the ground. Nearby, laundry is drying on a woven mat. Children look curiously and distrustfully into the camera. The pig lets itself be nuzzled and grunts contentedly.

The Creation As We Saw It

Ben Rivers
United Kingdom, Vanuatu / 2012 / 14 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Central Station Sofia
The biggest train station in the Balkans was built during the peak of the socialist era, but today is a place that many people try to avoid. This surreal meditation showing the wanderings of a conifer, an empty hotel, a shuttered café and snippets from the lives of the station’s inhabitants provides a portrait of the current state of an entire country. Birds fight over a piece of bread. A radio announcement. Nobody at the hotel, a bored receptionist, disgruntled rail workers forbidden from watching television – for even in the half-life of decay there must be a clear sense of order.

Central Station Sofia

Alberto Iordanov
Bulgaria, United Kingdom / 2013 / 13 min.
section: Short Joy
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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