26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Into History: Expedition Colony

With the advent of the modern modes of travel thanks to the steam engine, formerly distant Africa drew closer to the borders of Central Europe. The way was opened for exploratory expeditions from the Czech lands, pioneered by the renowned Emil Holub, the first of the Czech professional "adventurers". But 20th-century travelers who proudly volunteered to travel with Holub were given more powerful weapons than their predecessors - the automobile and the movie camera. In their films, they charted expeditions whose rapid progress was made possible by the use of automobiles. Travel films are not only a testament of the desire of their creators to get to know distant places, but also an imprint of their thinking. The films, often exploring the diversity of African cultures, relate in various ways to the ideology of colonialism - either actively endorsing it or taking a definitive stand against it. The Colonial Expedition retrospective presents a selection of pre- and and post-World War 2 films, that demonstrate the active role of Czechoslovakia in the cultural colonization of Africa.

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