24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Yellow Circus versus Red China
original title: Žlutý cirkus versus Rudá Čína
country: Czech Republic
running time: 90 min.
synopsisTraveler and director Dan Přibáň crisscrosses the world with his crew in yellow trabants and provides fresh information from around the world. His last trip will lead us to China, which will be topis of his workshop. We will talk about absurdities, which look comical for outside observers, but are a harsh reality for ordinary local people.
biographyDan Přibáň (1976) is well-known for his project Transtrabant, where yellow Trabant convoy drives through the world. From his journeys became popular documentary series “Trabant… ”.
other films in the section
The millions of victims of the totalitarian USSR in 1917-1960 included 25,000 Czechs and other Czechoslovak citizens, who are the subject of the 3-part documentary Czechoslovaks in the Gulag – a joint project of Czech TV and the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. The makers will reveal what preceded the documentary: a journey to the abandoned Siberian camps (part of a Gulag.cz project), and years of research, primarily in Ukrainian archives. In addition to excerpts, the filmmakers will show other ways the topic is presented, e.g., the Gulag Online Museum.---The Workshop is led by: Štěpán Černoušek, Marta Nováková---Čechoslováci v GulaguArt Design: Anna KrtičkováDramaturgy: Lucie Králová Topic: Štěpán Černoušek
Czechoslovaks in the Gulag
With almost no commentary, this portrait of a young rural early-grade schoolteacher shows the tenacity of a woman who must battle daily snowdrifts on her skis to reach her job. The filmmaker interweaves shots of mundane tasks in lyrical compositions presenting poetic views of the landscape.“Sýkora’s themes revolve around insignificant people who find themselves in extreme social or psychological situations. In each case, he has grown humanly fond of his protagonists.” Rudolf Urc
Czechoslovakia / 1969 / 16 min.
The wedding film of the Plastic People’s singer, Paul Wilson, shows the scene before and after the ceremony at the town hall in Prague 5, including the gathered friends and the final departure of the newlyweds.
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 3 min.
One of Ságl’s few non-documentary films captures the underground scene in one static shot showing a never-ending mass of people emerging from the escalator in the Prague metro. Although it is clearly a structural film – a fixed composition with several layers of motion – Ságl also uses it to explore social issues. The mass of commuters is carried forward by a seemingly unstoppable force without any chance of escaping the flow of people – an image of early Normalization in the 1970s. The film was repeatedly projected as a visual accompaniment to concerts by the Plastic People.
Czechoslovakia / 1972 / 22 min.
How did people with a different sexual orientation live before the Velvet Revolution? Did they have to hide their true identity? Did they suffer legal prosecution? Former member of the Czechoslovak women’s table tennis team Jana Kociánová, government official František Bloudek, and FAMU graduate Libuše Jarcovjáková (author of a unique series of photographs from Prague’s legendary T-Club) tell their stories.
Stories of the 20th Century: Branded for Life
Czech Republic / 2016 / 26 min.
Julius Varga was an atheist suffering from a terrible disease. After twenty years of being bound to his bed and imprisoned in an immobile and deformed body, he embarked on an inner spiritual journey in search of Christ. In Normalization-era Czechoslovakia, under constant surveillance by State Security, he gathered around himself a group of young people, becoming their guide and teacher in matters of life and death.
Stories of the 20th Century: The Legend of St. Julius
Czech Republic / 2016 / 26 min.
In honor of Arnošt and Jaroslava Hanibal’s wedding in September 1974, Ivan M. Jirous held the “First Festival of Other Culture” in Postupice, with the passive presence of the police. Performers included Old Teenagers, Sen Noci Svatojánské Band, Goldberg Grass Band, DG 307, Svatopluk Karásek, Charlie Soukup, and the Plastic People. The evening also featured a screening of Jan Ságl’s earlier films. The documentary opens with people gathering by the Rudolfinum in Prague, and also captures a part of the various performances. From the footage, it is evident that there were other cameramen present with 16mm film, making this one of the best-documented underground events.
Czechoslovakia / 1974 / 15 min.
Documentary filmmaking is probably more of a challenge for FAMU’s international students than it is for many of those from the Czech Republic. As a result, their perspective of phenomena founded in local reality is that much more intense, as may be seen in this selection of their best works.---The Workshop is led by: Vít JanečekPresented films:Living Inbetween, dir. Nefeli Oikonomou Pantzou, Czech Republic 2016, 10´What Is Behind the Canvas?, dir. Haukur Hallsson, Czech Republic 2016, 12'Vernissage of Martin Fryč, dir. Ana Aleksovka, Czech Republic 2015, 13'Sarah’s Manifesto, dir. Nefeli Oikonomou Pantzou, Czech Republic 2015, 12'Atte, dir. Zachary Slouka, Czech Republic 2015, 9'It’s Possible that Everything is Possible, dir. Galina Stepanova, Czech Republic 2016, 13'Sassicaia, dir. Ívar Erik Yeoman, Czech Republic 2015, 11'
It is the late 1980s. Petr Mička and Jirka Imlauf are friends at the Faculty of Education in Ústí nad Labem. Two years still remain before the Velvet Revolution. What could their random participation in an unpermitted protest possibly achieve? And what happens after a random look into the Cibulka List of supposed collaborators 20 years later?
Stories of the 20th Century: Agent Vian
Czech Republic / 2016 / 26 min.
Ivan Tatíček was among the most prominent figures in the Czech alternative documentary scene in the 1980s. His films are characterized by spontaneity, improvisation and the use of home footage techniques. They authentically depict the atmosphere of life in late-stage socialism, in which they capture a number of personalities of the alternative cultural scene in addition to everyday situations. His films were made under private circumstances, and after private screenings and showings at amateur festivals, they were later completely forgotten about. In a new digitized version prepared by the National Film Archive, they will be presented in a revived premiere with the filmmaker himself an active participant of the screening. The workshop is led by Martin Blažíček Group D, 1982, 27 min Nothing different, 1983, 23 min Metrofilm, 1984, 9 min Home, Sweet Home, 1986, 19 min
Ivan Tatíček: A Chronicle of Late-Stage Socialism
Czech Republic / 110 min.
In this recording of a July concert by the Plastic People in the village of Skála near Humpolec, Ságl captures the almost apocalyptic dimension of the Plastics’ performances. He shoots expressive close-ups of the dancers using a hand-held spotlight, complemented by calmer footage of the musicians immersed in playing their instruments – all of it “edited” directly in the camera. The film includes all the chronologically shot footage, thus testifying to Ságl’s intuitive and concentrated work with the camera. The concert took place near the town of Humpolec, where the Plastic People worked as woodcutters in the early 1970s.
Skála nearby Humpolec
Czechoslovakia / 1971 / 7 min.
This graduate project film uses zoom shots delving deep into the landscape to bring images of a smoking chimney and large mining wheel excavators. This portrayal of objects embedded in a landscape gradually being taken over by the army is a colorful visual poem presenting in-depth views of the life of passive nature, which is in sharp contrasting with iconic symbols of civilization.
Czechoslovakia / 1965 / 8 min.