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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Life could be so beautiful
Life could be so beautiful

Life could be so beautiful

director: Filip Jacobson, Angelika Herta
original title: Life could be so beautiful
country: Poland, Germany
year: 2019
running time: 62 min.

synopsis

During the 1940s, Polish writer Andrzej Bobkowski headed from the south of France to occupied Paris, describing everything he saw in diaries in which his hundreds of kilometers of cycling were transformed into a deep reflection on wartime Europe. Decades later, Angelika and Filip retraced his route and filmed everything along the way. During the exploration of Bobkowski’s path through the landscape and in culture, a conflict arises on the interpretation of the author’s diaries, with the pair’s creative debate leading to a reflection on their own relationship. In this documentary video diary and from the literary work, a reflection on modern life, work, and love arises.

“Relationship as eternal circle around eternally the same things. No matter how many times you discuss, you will never fully understand each other. But what holds you together?” A. Herta, F. Jacobson

biography

In her work, Angelika Herta (1982) explores the boundary between documentary film and video. Philip Jacobson won the student award at the Krakow Film Festival for his first short film Walk (2011). Both studied at the Academy of Media Studies in Cologne.

more about film

director: Filip Jacobson, Angelika Herta
producer: Ute Dilger
editing: Lara Rodríguez Cruz
music: Norman Peplow
sound: Peter Lange

other films in the section

A Well-Kept Secret
The small Estonian village of Soonlepa is home to its last three residents – a witch, an artist, and a philologist. All their lives will change when Aino the witch is diagnosed with cancer. This melancholy film captures everyday life in an abandoned village with interviews full of memories of youth and discussions of art and poetry. 

A Well-Kept Secret

Mihkel Oksmann
Estonia / 2018 / 25 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
There Will Be More Springs to Come
On average, the population of Lithuania is twice as poor as it was ten years ago. A contemplative film comprises scenes of a girl harvesting and selling strawberries during five years of economic and political changes in Lithuania. The film is about the circle of life and the market, and the influence of national economics on human existence.

There Will Be More Springs to Come

Neringa Starkevičiūtė
Lithuania / 2018 / 27 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
The Kids in Wonderland
Believing in God is great. The director carries out a social probe into the roots of young Charismatics in his hometown in Slovakia. Pop songs, ecstasy-like states, and modern merchandising all target youth. What do representatives of a generation think about the recent phenomenon, the Charismatic Movement? 

The Kids in Wonderland

Ema Kovalčíková
Czech Republic / 2018 / 38 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Daily manure
Pigeons are sitting down on the roof of a dilapidated farmhouse; a truck is dumping old bread on a pile; cattle is running around among the cars at the scrapyard; goats are grazing in the vicinity of large shipping containers... The leitmotif of the documentary is the fact that unprocessed foods are used as fertilizers and feed material for livestock, and the film shows one of the forms of agriculture in the 21st century in a series silent prose scenes. The slow pace and cyclic variation of the same stylistic parameters evokes the poetics of decline and decomposition. “In the course of four seasons, I'verecorded a place where our overproduction ends up. A cemetery where leftovers devour the leftovers.  The never ending cycle of crestion and demise.” N. Krutilová
personal program

Daily manure

Nikola Krutilová
Czech Republic / 2019 / 24 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Marie
The director’s purely observational camera enters the home of a family living in a village in the Danube Delta, where the birth of another girl arouses more tension stemming from the uneasy life of the extended family. In her short film, the director thematises a conflict between generations of three women reliant on each other, while Maria, a ten-year-old girl who has to take care of her younger sisters, comes into focus. In the timelessness of traditional rural relationships, shown in a slow pace of everyday life, Maria’s childlike innocence is exposed to harsh orders of her grandmother who requires respect and proper conduct.“What drove me to Iordana was curiosity. So I allowed myself to be surprised by their world, in order to be able to deconstruct their reality.” L. Popa
personal program

Marie

Letiția Popa
Romania / 2018 / 32 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Heavy Metal
In this documentary, we are not going to discover anything about the eponymous musical genre but instead will meet a group of workers dismantling a high-rise building made of concrete and metal. The filmmakers observe and register their labour using ingenious, visually stunning images, sometimes joined into several composition plans.

Heavy Metal

Eugene Golovanevsky
Ukraine / 2018 / 47 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
Ars Moriendi - The Art of Living
A sensitive film portrait tells the life story of 93-year-old Rosemarie Aschenbach, revealing the world of her thoughts. After a number of life setbacks, she was able to free herself and is now writing her dissertation in philosophy. The ordinariness of life contrasts with the richness of her opinions on life and death.

Ars Moriendi - The Art of Living

Kristina Schranz
Germany, Austria / 2018 / 30 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
East European Premiere
Hopschotch
Katya and Matvei live together in the Belarusian countryside. Then something happens that causes them to reassess their relationship. In this directorial debut – a melancholic study of the dynamic between two lovers – the intense sense of tension between the two protagonists contrasts with the calm co-existence of two friends who have come to visit. 

Hopschotch

Dasha Demura
Belarus, Russia / 2018 / 54 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Boundaries
The idea and story of the film begins on a train: the recording of a message on a cell phone suddenly stops after the crossing of the state border. The real situation initiates a movement to the realm of art: the short message becomes a documentary letter, the director’s poetic meditation on the importance and ubiquity of borders – in geography, history, and cinematography. Listening to the persistent humming sound, we follow the author on her existential journey through four cities consisting of real images and footage taken by the director’s father 25 years ago that always bring us to some visible or invisible border. “In the film school I was assigned to make a video essay on ‚Boundaries in film‘ topic. I started to think of where cinema ‚ends‘ but instead I realized I should first learn where is the end of myself.” Y. Shatun     
personal program

Boundaries

Yuliya Shatun
Belarus / 2019 / 29 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
I'm 20
Sima is a 20-year-old student of history. Both her mother and her father – the latter a famous hippie and Soviet dissident known as “Jura the saboteur” – died when she was still a child. In this diary-like film, Sima, confronted with the people who knew her father, tries to find out who he was and what values he represented, and in this way to perhaps find her own place in life.

I'm 20

Ekaterina Mamontova
Russia / 2018 / 45 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
World Premiere
The Drop
Like other miners, Chyngyz works twenty four hours under difficult conditions of the confined space of a shaft where miners risk a lot all the time. Although they work in fear for their lives, they are grateful for the work in the mine because it allows them to feed their families. The observation camera moves from stylized pictorial compositions of a morning journey to the mine to long sequences following the movement of miners in the shaft and their routine work to show their fate in an intense and immediate composite image.“One of the heroes of this film reenacts the famous pose in film Titanic, he wants to be Jack. He sings as he asks for raindrops when the time of love comes.” E. Tashbaeva
personal program

The Drop

Elnura Tashbaeva
Kyrgyzstan / 2019 / 20 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
Herding
This student-made documentary from the Kyrgyz Mountains region is a sensational viewing experience thanks to its interplay of form and content. Captured in the cinematographic style of a shaking image from a handheld camera, episodic moments such as milking goat milk and bathing in a healing spring in the middle of a pasture compose an authentic record of the life of local herdsmen, who must lead their herds to graze through the pasture despite the adversity of the elements working against them. In its clarity, the film's unkempt style, shot in the mountains above Lake Issyk-kul, allows it to reflect on nature and naturalism.   „In childhood,I helped my brother drive the horses from the village to the mountains after I had good memories,then when I studied directing at the documentary film courses i chose this topic after.“ E. Omurbekov       
personal program

Herding

Erlan Omurbekov
Kyrgyzstan / 2019 / 19 min.
section: Between the Seas: Student Film Competition
International Premiere
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