28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Promised Lands
Promised Lands
Promised Lands
Promised Lands

Promised Lands

director: Susan Sontag
original title: La Déchirure
country: France, Poland
year: 1974
running time: 86 min.


I always argue with someone about the definition of documentary. I hate that when we talk about other than fictional films, the terms and definitions are quite restricting. The label “documentary” evokes that it is just a documentary. Yet, a film is much more. The only independent significantly documentary film of Susan Sontag is her portrait of Israel. During five weeks, she spent fifteen hours a day filming with a fixed idea of making a sincere film. She was fascinated by the fact that events (and thus scenes in her film) took place in front of the camera in real time and with no preparation. All of a sudden, her work of a director wasn’t based on written preparation, but she had to deal ex post with events that she wasn’t able to foresee. The outcome of her search for rhythm and structure is an idea – not to aim at capturing events, but aim at capturing their conditions and circumstances.


The Polish Institute in Prague is the partner of the 25th Ji.hlava IDFF.


Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was an influential American essayist, publicist, writer, director, human rights defender, and female emancipation activist. Her universal activities remain an impressive characteristic of this Renaissance woman of modern history. She became known in 1964 with her text Notes on 'Camp'. Her essays On Photography, Under the Sign of Saturn and Regarding the Pain of Others, and her novel The Volcano Lover were translated into Czech. Her interest in film is present in her entire work.

more about film

director: Susan Sontag
script: Susan Sontag
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas