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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Doc Alliance Selection

Doc Alliance Selection is the result of an international partnership including the Czech Republic (Jihlava), Denmark (Copenhagen), France (Marseille), Germany (Leipzig), Poland (Warsaw), Portugal (Lisbon) and Switzerland (Nyon). In each country, the project presents three selected films in order to showcase current trends in documentary film.

film database

Bless you!
The still unfinished chapter of coping with the epidemic of covid-19 disease is reflected in a documentary composed of audio recordings of emergency calls and footage of the depopulated streets of St. Petersburg. The bleakness of the situation can be felt in the testimonies of pensioners, for whom basic services such as buying food or health care were often unavailable in the imposed isolation. The gaps in awareness of essential matters among both emergency line staff and citizens reveal much about the collapsing social infrastructure of the Russian state that neglects its duties and helps people only by distributing boxes of essential food, for example, porridge for children.'The old people who are isolated in their buildings were told that this (the lockdown) was being done to protect them. In reality, it’s hard to work out if this is true. They do this to protect the population but not the old people.' The Polish Institute in Prague is the partner of the 25th Ji.hlava IDFF.

Bless you!

Tatiana Chistova
Poland, Russia / 2020 / 30 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection
Czech Premiere
Gabi, Between Ages 8 and 13
Gabi doesn’t fit into the boxes created by society. She doesn’t see much difference between boys and girls. She dresses and expresses herself as she likes, despite gender norms, finding support and understanding from her mother Tracy and stepfather Thomas. However, after leaving liberal Stockholm and moving to a smaller town, she learns that not all people are equally understanding. With the onset of puberty, she also loses her understanding of the collective and her own body. Over the course of five formative years, this time-lapse documentary juxtaposes intimate everyday moments into a sensitive portrait of a child leaving the world of play in search of identity and acceptance. „In the beginning I knew I didn’t want it to be a sensational film. I wanted it to be about small moments in a young person’s life…for me it was important to make a film that was an exploration and a journey and that I let Gabi speak for herself.“

Gabi, Between Ages 8 and 13

Engeli Broberg
Sweden, Norway / 2021 / 79 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection
Czech Premiere
Looking for Horses
In an attempt to find his roots, the young director travels to Bosnia where he encounters a fisherman who has been living in solitude by a lake for the last eighteen years, away from civilisation, having taken refuge there after losing his hearing during the Bosnian War. Despite the communication barriers caused by the veteran’s hearing impairment as well as the fact that the filmmaker has been forgetting his native tongue and that he stutters, a strong bond gradually forms between the two men. Awarded at the Visions du Réel, Nancy and Sarajevo festivals, this poetic documentary not only charts the emergence of an unlikely friendship, but also finds an oasis of lake-world tranquillity in the midst of a broken country the conflicts in which have scarred generations.  „I was really moved by the contrast of his traumatic life versus his (fisherman’s) warmth and kindness. Getting to know him over the years, I was touched that even though I was not able to speak the language and him not hearing so well, and despite all our differences, we could sit together, spend time together and pay attention to each other.”

Looking for Horses

Stefan Pavlović
Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France / 2021 / 87 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection
Czech Premiere
Terraforming
An experimental meditation in three chapters showing the transition from human creation to nature. Moreira shows a sensory audiovisual landscape that speaks without words. Cars on the roads transform into teeming lights and colors that look like organisms under a microscope. The city gives way to the forest, the landscape, the universe, becoming a body with its own rhythm, language and shape. The asynchronous soundtrack gives the impression of the presence of a parallel world where light has its sound, nature its music and the universe its voice. It is a world where the boundaries between the concrete and the abstract are blurred and the micro-world merges with the macro-world.

Terraforming

Ricardo Moreira
Portugal / 2020 / 11 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection
Central European Premiere
The Blunder of Love
Costantino flooded his wife with love letters, sent films of his travels, and even wrote a romance novel about her. His grandson, Rocco di Mento, knows him only through stories, and so seventy years later he travels from Berlin back to his native Italy to learn more about his grandfather. However, as family reunions bring disturbed interpersonal relationships to the surface, Rocco witnesses the distancing, resentment and frustration of unrequited feelings passed down across generations. His introspective and subtly nostalgic film deconstructs the myth of great love and asks what the force that holds people together is.„In the film we use all the pieces of stories and messages to deconstruct the ideal love and go to the real life. Real life was a bit bitter than a dream but it was real.”

The Blunder of Love

Rocco Di Mento
Germany / 2020 / 84 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection
Czech Premiere
The Sun and the Looking Glass – for one easily forgets but the tree remembers
A visual film essay on the small Palestinian village of Ein Quiniya reconstructs the historical background of the Israeli occupation since 1967. The director puts herself in the position of a detective, who uses a magnifying glass to examine the local stones, sand, and tree bark, which reveal the specific atmosphere of the place and the historical events that have shaped its present appearance. The setting sun not only illuminates the scenery, but also reveals a text that explains how the village, its inhabitants, and everyday life have been transformed by the occupation. The sun and the magnifying glass function both as literal means of creation and as a metaphor for the possibility of seeing hitherto hidden stories.„I was interested in seeing how these elements—the stones, the trees, the sun—could actually be witnesses and how I could lend them voices in order to reveal the story of the place.” (M. Desse)

The Sun and the Looking Glass – for one easily forgets but the tree remembers

Milena Desse
Belgium, Palestine / 2020 / 23 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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