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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Lost Paradise
Lost Paradise

Lost Paradise

director: Reine Mitri
original title: Al ferdaous al mafqoud
country: Lebanon
year: 2017
running time: 61 min.

synopsis

The life of the filmmaker, also the film’s main character, is determined by a double fear. On one side, her world collapses under the weight of personal and historical tragedies, on the other she is threatened by the loss of the memories of everything that is dear to her. In this documentary, which blurs the lines between personal and public, she attempts to preserve all traces of memories, whether they’re images of her deceased husband or the ruins of local Beirut monuments. Slowly flowing images, virtually free of musical accompaniment, give memory fragments emerging from the surfaces of material things, including the heroine’s body, space to have spontaneous effect.

"This film evolves around the notions of disappearance and loss: individual death and disappearance of places, loss of personal memory and collective memory. " R. Mitri

biography

Reine Mitri (1970) is a Lebanese documentary director and producer. The key theme of her work to date is memory, both personal and collective. In her work, she also captures the memory of place, in particular that of Beirut, which the local government has the tendency to suppress. Her film In This Land Lay Graves of Mine (2014), about the legacy of the Lebanese civil war, earned her a censorship ban.

more about film

director: Reine Mitri
producer: Reine Mitri
photography: Ayman Nahle
editing: Reine Mitri, Ayman Nahle
sound: Raed Younan

other films in the section

Kiruna – A Brand New World
Apocalyptic depiction of an area literally engulfed by the mining industry is presented in this documentary that observes the eponymous northern Swedish city, part of which was abandoned due to activities in the nearby iron mine. The mining company’s management decided not to halt profitable mining activities and instead made the decision to move the residents of the threatened district. Using footage shot in the city inside the Arctic Circle and directly in the mines, the director has uncovered subtle film imagery, and using the stories of three protagonists now living in a bizarre inter-time, imaginatively addresses the topics of resettlement, tradition, and respect for a particular location. “The dystopian story of Kiruna is about lost people looking for a home in an uprooted city. It shows the dark side of the advanced society, whether in Sweden or the Czech Republic.” G. Stocklassa

Kiruna – A Brand New World

Greta Stocklassa
Czech Republic / 2019 / 87 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Czech Premiere
The Visit
An inspection team from the World Bank arrives in an Egyptian village a few years after the revolution to assess how the transformation of agricultural management has progressed since the political upheaval. All of the activities are, as required, recorded by a television crew. We watch a drainage channel being built and visit the local museum. Everything seems to be as it should. However, the documentary’s authors leave the camera switched on even after the television crew has finished their work. As a result, the official record includes behind-the-scenes views and the members of the television crew become just additional actors in the film. The carefully arranged scene becomes an absurdly active image with advertising overtones.DETAIL:A reporter, wearing clothing that conceals all of her body except her face, interviews one of the local women. One detail is particularly worthy of attention: the front of her robe is embroidered with images of Western women wearing revealing clothes.

The Visit

Nadia Mounier, Marouan Omara
Egypt, Germany / 2015 / 43 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Barbaric Land
Every era has its fascism. A film necessary for us at this time, over fascism and colonialism … With their 'Analythica Cameral' authors returned to rummage in privates and anonymous archives of Ethiopia over the film frames of the Italian colonial period ('35-36). The Colonial eroticism. The naked body of women and the 'body' of the film. Images of the Duce in Africa. Body frames of Mussolini and the 'mass' 1945, after the Liberation.

Barbaric Land

Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi
France / 2013 / 65 min.
section: Opus Bonum
East European Premiere
TERRA NULLIUS or: How to be a Nationalist
Even uninhabited archipelagos may be subject to drawn out territorial disputes if they are rich in oil deposits. However, the filmmaker is more concerned with how ownership issues reverberate amongst nationalists in competing countries rather than in the history of the dispute or its resolution, making it possible to present the patriotic pathos-soaked ceremonies of the Japanese, the efforts of Chinese authorities to complicate diversionary activities, and the expressive protests and bizarre rituals of Taiwanese activists. The desire to understand the situation leads the director to participate in several futile attempts to land on the islands. Although he finds himself on the frontline during an escalation in the conflict, he is able to maintain his distance as an impartial observer.DETAIL:“I´m an American by birth, and a Taiwanese and a Chinese by blood. This blood is ideological. For me, and for the long dead philosopher Bishop Berkeley, to be is to be perceived.”

TERRA NULLIUS or: How to be a Nationalist

James T. Hong
China, Taiwan, Japan / 2015 / 78 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Entrance to the End
A dark psycho-ethnographic journey of Maria von Hausswolff and Anne Gry F. Kristensen into the depths of the jungle of the human subconsciousness. The footage from the Panama rainforest was shot on 16mm and all sound was recorded on cassette tapes. The film is a subconscious reaction to Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust, an ultraviolent Italian film from the 1970s, as well as to all romanticizing depictions of nature as a place of harmony which is in balance with both itself and its inhabitants. Balancing between imagination and reality, this work is on of the most uncompromising films at this year's festival."The film is a mysterious poem-like journey through an eerie jungle where the viewer get to meet all kinds of creatures and spirits, living and dead. It's shot on a 16mm bolex camera accompanied by sounds recorded on analogue tapes.“ M. Von Hausswolff, A. G. Friis Kristensen 

Entrance to the End

Anne Gry Friis Kristensen, Maria Von Hausswolff
Denmark, Sweden / 2018 / 33 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Dissipatio
The strict quarantine in the spring of 2020 reduced the living space of hundreds of millions of people down to just a few square meters. The horizon was limited to the view from the window, boredom permeated the days, and an endless stream of catastrophic rumors emanated from the radio and television. Against the backdrop of his own mental and physical discomfort, the director begins to shoot a video diary. The similarly non-existent static camera records existential monologues as well as activities serving basic bodily needs. This philosophical essay is woven from reflections on the coming transformation of the world and the images that try to capture it.   "During the quarantine Time became something strange. So we stood as still as possible, scared by our own breath, while our home was turning into the kingdom of that new kind of time." F. Ticozzi
personal program

Dissipatio

Filippo Ticozzi
Italy / 2020 / 39 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
At home, walking
This poetic documentary about pilgrims is adapted to the rhythm of their walking. It serves as an act of liberation and knowledge, returning man as well as meditation to the present moment. During the annual pilgrimage through the Deccan Plateau, the differences between the sexes, different religions and castes become blurred. They are all aiming for the same goal. One of the many millions of pilgrims is the author herself, describing her impressions on a journey across the country and her journey in finding herself. Conceptualized as a personal diary, the film also calls for deceleration in an overly technological and fast-paced world.

At home, walking

Rajula Shah
India / 2019 / 114 min.
section: Opus Bonum
European Premiere
29 26
 The film 29 26 is an audiovisual recording of the thoughts and feelings of two sixteen-year-old and two nineteen-year-old girls, who in monologues reveal their concerns and ideas about the life they’ll lead in ten years. The director underscores their speech with stylized and realistic images of themselves, acquired under varying circumstances and on different materials, thus creating an original work of art connecting elements of multiple artistic areas that are close to the author. Long shots of the protagonists’ faces, captured in great detail, are highlighted with expressive illumination and interleaved with poetic, experimentally conceived passages.„‘The world grows with fear next to us‘“ - 29 26, tries to be an intimate and honest tribute/portrait about growing up. Together we create a new space, between performance and film hoping to remember who we were one day.“ P. Velho

29 26

Pedro Velho
Portugal / 2018 / 40 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
I Am the People
January 2011 in Egypt was marked by anti-government demonstrations. While tens of thousands of protestors gathered in Cairo, poor villagers in the country’s south followed the tense situation on Tahrir Square on their TV screens and in the daily newspapers. It is from their perspective that this documentary captures the political changes in Egypt, from the toppling of President Mubarak to the election of Mohamed Morsi. The film reveals the villagers’ hopes and disappointments, and shows that despite the wild events, very little has actually changed in their lives.DETAIL:“If I were a judge in his trial, I’d immediately give him the death penalty.”

I Am the People

Anna Roussillon
France / 2014 / 110 min.
section: Opus Bonum
World Premiere
Ettrick
This visually captivating observational documentary of Scotland offers not only images of the rugged landscape, meadows, extensive forests and windmills, but also a detailed study of the meticulous handiwork completed at the local textile mill. Through exploring the nature of the digital record that captures the shape of the landscape, the film identifies images that reflect local everyday life. The physical movement through the area is also a journey into the imagery, which gradually disintegrates into particles of colour and shifting surfaces, subsequently reassembling back into the contours that change as a result of weather and time. Through the emphasis placed on colours and flow in calm compositions, the symbols of the traditional life in the region are revealed.DETAIL:“I shot the film three years long in Scotland. The path we drive leads to the heart of the Ettrick Forest, a dive into a textile world. A land where man, machinery and nature deal with a complex relationship that draws their future.” Jacques Perconte

Ettrick

Jacques Perconte
France / 2015 / 57 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
20 Cents
São Paulo, June 2013: The local government’s decision to raise the price for a public transit ticket by 20 cents results in a wave of social unrest. The protests are an expression of a more general dissatisfaction among the working classes with their living conditions. However, the mass of protestors does not succeed in achieving a common vision: The carneval-like ethos is replaced by the atmosphere of guerilla struggle, and solidarity by violence. Over several days, this observational documentary places the viewer directly into the middle of the chaotic events. The cadence of kinetic footage of angry mobs, accompanied by tribal rhythms and heavy-metal riffs, is enough to give the viewer a sense of vertigo.DETAIL:“Brazil cannot continue being the country of impunity! Brazil cannot continue sending only poor to prison. It’s time the politicians go to jail.”

20 Cents

Tiago Tambelli
Brazil / 2014 / 52 min.
section: Opus Bonum
International Premiere
Spring yes yes yes
Originally a sound woman by trade, Audrey Ginestet has created an intimate reportage and purely personal experiment: She decided to spend a winter in Japan with a past lover, a man with whom she had a relationship ten years before in France and whom she has not seen since. The cramped little house becomes a stage for monologues on intercultural differences and the possibility of relationships across cultures and between individual beings, combined with the observation of details inside the house and in nature.

Spring yes yes yes

Audrey Ginestet
France, Japan / 2012 / 38 min.
section: Opus Bonum
Central European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt