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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Echoes of Ji.hlava

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A house
An observational documentary that focuses on the Tentative Association, which helps young people with autism develop independence and socialization skills. Seven autistic people live in a big house and, together with their helpers, they fill their days with household tasks. Community coexistence offers a way for the inhabitants of the house to achieve their desired goals and the sharing of everyday work becomes the primary source of narrative. The film is a careful observation of life in this house. Actions and behaviors speak for themselves, giving space to the primary figures, not to those who make decisions about their lives.   "Thanks to the camera, I was able to get close to the inhabitants of the house. It acted as a kind of a screen between us, a way to avoid direct contact - which is problematic for some autistic people. When I looked at the LCD screen or directly into the optical viewfinder, I was able to really get close to them, which would be impossible with a direct gaze.” J. Auffray, FID interview
personal program

A house

Judith Auffray
France, Switzerland / 2019 / 81 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
International Premiere
A New Shift
The closure of the Paskov mine, 2017; drilling into coal mines in the Ostrava-Karviná district, once a tradition, is now becoming a thing of the past. The Nová šichta retraining program drives a laid-off miner, Tomáš Hisem, away from his pickaxe, jackhammer, football Baník matches and Padlock concerts and into the world of object-oriented programming. New opportunities and horizons lead to changes in his personal life and career. This tender portrait of an ordinary miner navigating his way through the labyrinth of the labour market reveals both the nooks and crannies of a performance-oriented society and the transforming industrial agglomerations. Strong will and determination prevail over the media simulacrum of retraining in an impressive struggle for the soul and the dignity of one working-class man. Q&A with the director and crew:
personal program

A New Shift

Jindřich Andrš
Czech Republic / 2020 / 90 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
World Premiere
Alchemical Furnace
After he finished shooting his last feature-length film Insects, Jan Švankmajer became the protagonist of a film himself. His creative method is partially revealed by Jan Daňhel and Adam Oľha, who spent three years with the internationally acknowledged filmmaker, graphic artist and unorthodox thinker. This allowed them to capture specific situations as well as the artist’s general thoughts on food, fetishes, and the end of both humankind and Western civilization. This playful, associative and tactile portrait, whose fluctuating form provides an outline of various options, is supplemented with the perspectives of friends and colleagues, chiefly Jaromír Kallista, the producer of Švankmajer’s films. The artist’s wife and muse Eva is shown throughout the film through memories, dreams and archive footage.     “We wanted to create a formally independent film that does not copy Švankmajer’s signature style. Just as in alchemy, we based our work on three mutually interconnected principles. Specifically these were Jan Švankmajer, Jaromír Kallista and Eva Švankmajerová. Another very important element was the Surrealist Group, which is Švankmajer’s second family.” A. OľhaQ&A with the filmmakers Adam Ol'ha and Jan Daňhel:
personal program

Alchemical Furnace

Adam Oľha, Jan Daňhel
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2020 / 118 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Antigone - How Dare We!
The classical heroine as a symbol of moral resistance against the malevolence of the state is significantly transformed in Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s conception. His polemic interpretation of the famous myth is interspersed with acted passages from the staging of his drama The Triple Life of Antigone set in a Ljubljana housing estate. In contrast to this, there are television recordings of political cataclysms – from the division of Berlin to the birth of the Baader–Meinhof Group, from raw images of the refugee crisis to how it was discussed by the European Parliament. Against this backdrop and using Antigone, Creon and the chorus as a mouthpiece, the director asks crucial questions about the essence of law and morals in the world of broken-down democracy. „It is a kind of political essay on European democracy today and at the same time a combination of a feature-length documentary, because I want to present the key points of Žižek's drama at the same time.” J. Sever    
personal program

Antigone - How Dare We!

Jani Sever
Slovenia / 2020 / 87 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
International Premiere
Cockroach
In February 2019, the Hong Kong government proposed a bill, which would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects from Hong Kong to face trial in mainland China. The controversial bill sparked immediate outrage over widespread fear of arbitrary detention and politically motivated trials that would decimate Hong Kong’s autonomy under ‘one country, two systems.’ Anti-bill protests escalated into pro-democracy demonstrations. Cockroach, filmed during the height of the protests, captures the extraordinary intensity of an unprecedented era in Hong Kong’s history.

Cockroach

Ai Weiwei
Germany, Hong Kong SAR China / 2020 / 93 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Communism and the Net or The End of Representative Democracy
The six-hour essay in four parts examines the history of regimes and revolutions, leaders and martyrs, from a philosophical perspective. The collage of personal memories, staged scenes and archives of collective memory compares the Prague Spring to the Velvet Revolution and shows the exposure, conflict, crisis, and catharsis of the post-communist society. Democracy can be saved through creative laughter, dissolving the untouchability and hypertrophic egos of the representatives of state institutions. The Internet frees the society from representatives of the non-functional connecting link that prevents direct communication between citizens and institutions of power.     “I can see you until I spot you. Once I spot you, I cannot see you anymore.” K. Vachek

Communism and the Net or The End of Representative Democracy

Karel Vachek
Czech Republic, Slovakia / 2019 / 335 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Coronation
The bureaucratic machinery of the Chinese political system quickly and effectively slowed the spread of coronavirus early in the crisis, but at the cost of more rigorous control and restriction of the rights of the citizens. The film raises the question whether it is more important to preserve personal freedom of individuals during a pandemic or health of the whole society. The raw footage, secretly filmed by amateur cameramen, shows the reality of life in the closed city of Wuhan, its desolate streets and strictly guarded medical facilities. To what extent can the state interfere in the lives of its citizens when a global humanitarian disaster is at stake? “I am very pessimistic about what we will learn from this. I think that things will return to normal, people will simply take off their masks and throw them away into the rubbish bin.” Ai Weiwei
personal program

Coronation

Ai Weiwei
Germany / 2020 / 113 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Corporate Accountability
The Argentine Ministry of Justice encouraged research resulting in a thousand-page report on crimes against humanity committed during the military dictatorship in 1976–1983. The generally not very well-known content of the report can be heard from the mouth of the director who reads it in his car parked in front of twenty-five, mostly still functioning companies that used to denounce trade unionists and left-wing workers in exchange for their own profit. Illustratively brings evidence of thousands of missing people, hundreds of murders and countless cases of torture caused and links between dictatorship and capitalism.    „The ruling paradigm in Argentine justice focused within the State itself, and not outside of it.“ J. Perel  
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Corporate Accountability

Jonathan Perel
Argentina / 2020 / 68 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Czech Journal: Vojna Ztohoven
The film addresses forms of political art, which inevitably come into conflict with state power, but focuses more on the specific socio-legal consequences of such creative gestures. Members of the Ztohoven art group are preparing for a lawsuit as a result of their performance, when they raised a pair of red boxer shorts in place of the president’s banner at Prague Castle, the seat of the President of the Republic. At the same time, they decide to help the family of Russian activist Oleg Vorotnikov, a member of the dissident group Vojna, who finds himself in much more acute conflict with power. The test of Czech activism begins ...   “It’s a very situational film, one that I’ve always wanted to make. The viewer will be able to form their own opinion, but in some way, it might also offer them insight into our government and society.” P. Nesvačilová Q&A with the filmmakers Petra Nesvačilová, David Čálek, Ztohoven: Martin Leskovjan, Roman Týc, Matěj Hájek:
personal program

Czech Journal: Vojna Ztohoven

Petra Nesvačilová
Czech Republic / 2020 / 80 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
World Premiere
Drama Girl
A genre hybrid film by Vincent Boy Kars is a docu-dramatic experiment – the main character, Leyla, is supposed to play key scenes from her life. The acted parts of the film explore Leyla’s relationships with her parents and boyfriend – played by hired actors – and the art of dance she has been studying. More emphasis, however, is placed on the parts between the scenes when Boy Kars and Leyla discuss her life and the ways to present it. Not only does Leyla relive her memories but she also has re-enact them again and again, always in another way, following the director’s instructions. The documentary highlights the constructive nature of documentary films and begs the question how drama helps us understand our own lives. “To me, this film is about developing your own way of filming. Sometimes I seem to create a new genre. I combine interesting elements of fiction and documentary, trying to develop an approach where acting and being come together.” V. Boy Kars
personal program

Drama Girl

Vincent Boy Kars
Netherlands / 2020 / 90 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Central European Premiere
Epicentro
Somewhere between North and South America, capitalism and communism, and the Soviet Union and the United States lies Cuba — regarded as a historical, geographical, and cultural intersection of various utopian visions. Although these visions have yet to be fulfilled, the people of Havana, whom Hubert Sauper chose as his guide, still cleave to them and continue to believe the stories of their ancestors. This spontaneous and melancholic travel essay confronts the unadorned reality of the impoverished island state and explores the myths its people live by. And despite the country’s long history of foreign influence, oppression, and political upheavals, these myths have ensured that the people of Cuba never lose their inner freedom.     “In Epicentro, I tried to reflect on these amazing and opposing terms, ‘utopia’ and ‘dystopia’, and thereby focused on Cuban society as a case study.” H. Sauper Q&A with the director of Epicentro Hubert Sauper:
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Epicentro

Hubert Sauper
France, United States, Austria / 2020 / 107 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Factory Complex
Workers in Asian textile factories, flight attendants, and call center workers represent generations of mothers and daughters who have experienced the onset of neo-liberalism first-hand since the 1970s. Under the control of giants such as Samsung and Daewoo, they come to know the flip side of the dream of prosperity, which is also reflected in the surrealist René Magritte's Kiss of Lovers. The pair have their heads tangled in cloth, much like the heroines of the film, representing global blindness, and raises the question of whether only the exploited Third World workers are blind, or customers of e-shops and branded stores in the west as well.   “At the beginning of my career, I felt like a researcher, activist, social worker, or educator. Now I feel more like a funeral home employee.” Im Heung-soon
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Factory Complex

IM Heung-soon
South Korea / 2014 / 95 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Homecoming - Marina Abramovic and Her Children
"I come from a dark place, Tito's Yugoslavia," says Marina Abramović at the start of the film, which captures her heartwarming return. The journey to her native Belgrade where the Serbian performer now calls home after many years leads us to the various cities where her travelling exhibition The Cleaner is being presented. The artist recalls her tumultuous relationship with her homeland, her parents and her own body, and recapitulates how she crossed the border between states and between creator and audience. Her work springs to life not only in archive footage, but also in the performances of young performers who, much like her children, carry on their "mother's" legacy.Discussion with the director to watch HEREQ&A with the director:
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Homecoming - Marina Abramovic and Her Children

Boris Miljković
Serbia / 2020 / 83 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Hong Kong Moments
From June to November 2019, acclaimed Chinese director Zhou Bing filmed massive protests of Hong Kong residents against the law of extradition, and conceived his film as a monumental presentation of a historical turning point of “free” Hong Kong. Using various documentary material from the protests and numerous drone shots, he was able to create a professionally fine and well-edited mosaic of opinions of seven different people who, despite the fact that their subjective truths may dilute the essence of the fight against the dictatorship in People’s Republic of China, show the meaning of their fierce and (temporarily) victorious struggle for democracy. „We filmed seven Hong Kong people during three months. The protagonists including a front-line protestor, a First-Aider, a taxi driver, a local tea house owner, a police force, a district councillor and a young girl who participated in the election. They live in the same city but have different lifestyles and values. I tried to record their story from a calm and objective angle, in a direct film way.“ Z. Bing
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Hong Kong Moments

Zhou Bing
Hong Kong SAR China, Germany / 2020 / 90 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
I Walk
This autobiographical film shot in the form of a diary captures the everyday life and woes of an old man with many successes under his belt and a richly lived past, but whose zest for life is slowly beginning to fade away. Jørgen Leth survived a devastating earthquake in Haiti, but his legs have not served him well since and every step he takes is an arduous task. He travels to Laos with a team of filmmakers and his adult children where he plans a project with help from the local people to capture the pristine nature of the country. During the project’s pre-production phase, he revisits the past to speak about his own life story, taking a poetic approach as he answers the burning question: is it still possible to find beauty and happiness if one is barely able to put on his own shoes?   “I think that happiness, or what appears to be happiness, exists in the simple life. What some might view as cheating.” I Walk (00:58:50–00:59:01)
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I Walk

Jørgen Leth
Denmark / 2019 / 90 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Latvian Coyote
The Latvian-Russian border may seem like just an area of endless swampy forests and villages filled with dilapidated buildings and no people. But this inhospitable place also happens to be a destination for refugees from various countries heading through Eastern Europe, as it not only represents the end of their painful journey but also the pathway into the Schengen Zone and open borders. Long-term unemployment and an influx of immigrants have creative a new job opportunity for smugglers known as “coyotes”, who risk their own freedom to help others find freedom for a small reward. This observational documentary shot over the course of three years follows smugglers, refugees, and law enforcement: three sides of a hopeless socio-economic triangle.     “My goal was to show a border portrait of the border. It seems to me that there is a tunnel — a 2-kilometre-wide tunnel called the "border zone." And in that tunnel you can very well see how the world is changing, how globalisation is happening.” I. Zviedris    Q&A with Ivars Zviedris:  
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Latvian Coyote

Ivars Zviedris
Latvia / 2020 / 90 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
World Premiere
Low Tide
This film has a limit of 200 views.   The film follows the life of a 12-year-old boy in an average, small town in Texas. Being in the great outdoors and exploring the local fauna on hot days is the only form of entertainment the boy ever gets when he’s not cleaning or running the household he shares with his emotionally distant mother. Whether she’s exhausted from a poorly paid job as a nurse at the old folk’s home or drunk after a sleepless night, her son takes on the role of a parent and provides her with loving care. Documentary aesthetics that use minimalist dialogues and cast non-actors as the main characters of the film reflect the social and economic problems of the lower class in the American South.   “Undeniably powerful & eye-wateringly beautiful. Minervini is such a confident filmmaker; his films are both spontaneous but evidently controlled. Low Tide is a mesmerising watch -- stripped back and quietly devastating.” – Jimmy Dean https://letterboxd.com/film/low-tide/ 
personal program

Low Tide

Roberto Minervini
United States, Italy, Belgium / 2012 / 92 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Miri fajta
The central figure of the documentary is Robin Stria, an amateur filmmaker who is trying to create the first Roma sitcom in the Czech Republic. Its title - Miri Fajta - means My Family in Romani, and the Romani creator wants to tell a story about Romani using Romani actors. At the same time, it offers him the opportunity to think more deeply about his identity and show it at a time when the issue of self-awareness is also a problem of representation, because Roma creators are scarce. The sitcom’s director is aware of the importance of representation in the media, and the documentary of which he is a hero points out the absence of minority performances, where they are not only the object of observation, but themselves become creative factors. “Against the background of Robin’s painful efforts to create original Romani theater and film work, we also tried to examine what it actually means to be Romani in the Czech Republic today, and its specific forms are reflected in this personal portrait of not only Robin but also other members of his team.” M. Chlup, P. Kačírek, Doc.revueQ&A with Petr Kačírek, Martin Chlup, Jan Hubáček and a protagonist Robin:  
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Miri fajta

Martin Chlup, Petr Kačírek
Czech Republic / 2020 / 73 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
World Premiere
Oeconomia
This film has a limit of 300 views.   Director Carmen Losmann’s film looks for answers to some of the crucial questions of today: Why is economic inequality on the rise? Why are both individuals and states increasingly indebted? Why is it that it is the clients who pay the most for bank crises? In order to understand the rules of a game, from which only a very small percentage of the participants benefit, she approached representatives of the banking and financial sector. Some wished to remain anonymous. The director put their answers into the mouths of actors and supplemented them with illustrative computer graphics. The document thoroughly, clearly and with foresight, analyzes the paradoxes of continuous economic growth and presents a tangible form of a system whose mechanisms should remain invisible in the interests of capitalism.
personal program

Oeconomia

Carmen Losmann
Germany / 2020 / 89 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Once Upon a Time in Poland
Director Karel Žalud, with directors Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, visited Poland over the course of several years to better understand Poles and their relationship with God. In the film, Žalud turns to casual passers-by, nuns celebrating the anniversary of the baptism of Poland, a representative of the anti-Semitic Radio Maryja, and a priest accused of sexual harassment. While they are all clear on matters of faith, the filmmaker, who himself seeks spiritual support, is increasingly skeptical. Christianity in today’s Poland seems to offer answers, but only to questions agreed upon by the church and the conservative government.     “It’s like a road movie through the medieval Catholic landscape. In short, it is a documentary football match, with one team being the most atheistic nation in Europe, which we are, versus the Poles, who are the most Catholic.” V. Klusák
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Once Upon a Time in Poland

Filip Remunda, Vít Klusák
Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia / 2020 / 97 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
International Premiere
Pilgrimage to the Mountains
Art historian and theorist Jiří Zemánek and his friends set out on a nine-day pilgrimage from Prague to Sněžka, one they’ve done many times before. These modern pilgrims, inspired by the walking journey of the poet Karel Hynek Mácha, who completed the trip with Eduard Hindl in 1833, discover the beauties of the Czech landscape, read excerpts of poems and observations from Mácha's notebook, and observe a world in which untouched nature and modern civilization meet. The lyrical, meditative film, interwoven with humanism, offers an insight into the inner minds of pilgrims longing to merge with the world, highlights poetry as a tool for transforming human perception.     "And then there is no choice but to take one's meager belongings onto one’s back and set off. Jirka might read a poem on the road, perhaps from Mácha, Jeffers or Josef Hora, and our minds are open to the unknown. We already know that there is nothing to be afraid of: the path will set us straight and guide us, connect us with the landscape, with the clouds, with the starry nighttime sky. With ourselves.” K. Čtveráček   Q&A with  Karel Čtveráček and Jiří Zemánek:  
personal program

Pilgrimage to the Mountains

Karel Čtveráček
Czech Republic / 2020 / 82 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
International Premiere
Planet of Snail
The deafblind poet knows reality only by touch, just like a snail. His slow haptic world of darkness and silence is as far removed from ordinary reality as life on an alien planet. However, this healing film does not represent existence in isolation and solitude as an oppressive existential drama, but as a lifelong therapy of darkness. Young-Chan does not reside on another planet - we are the ones who have distanced ourselves from within in an excess of visual and sound perceptions. A meditation on barriers and freedom cleanses the traces of civilization and opens the door to the elemental world of shapes, surfaces, movement, and the passage of time.   “People with disabilities are usually portrayed stereotypically as people who need our help and compassion. My film is different.” Seungjun Lee
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Planet of Snail

Seung-jun Lee
South Korea, Japan, Finland / 2012 / 87 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Pripyat Piano
This film has a 1000 views limitAn audiovisual elegy to a place abandoned by people, where all that remains are sounds trapped in crumbling pianos. The Chernobyl tragedy left behind a unique, tragic space, a long-forbidden zone. Traces of recent settlement are ubiquitous, released at the mercy of time and the effects of nature. Outside the realm of mere visual and haptic experiences, a documentary is released calling for the return of man as a creator and performer to continue their fatally cut-off work. In poems and songs composed by the original inhabitants of Pripyat, we can hear that a strong connection between people and their home persists.Q&A with the filmmakers Eliška Cílková (director) and Jindřich Andrš (producer):
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Pripyat Piano

Eliška Cílková
Czech Republic / 2020 / 18 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Radiograph of a Family
A reconstruction of a marriage – a modern family split in two culturally divergent entities. Their life journey is narrated as an essay composed of old photographs and video diaries and accompanied by the gentle voice of the director, Firouzeh Khosrovani. Being the only child of Iranian mother devoted more to Islam than to her family, and Iranian father who adored modern European culture and admired Bach‘s classicist music, she is aware of how these two identities have formed her personality. This multifaceted romantic story recounts the struggles between tradition and modern society in the context of not only the nuclear family and the universe of their apartment, but also in the context of extravagant Europe and secular Iran of the past century.   Q&A with the director Firouzeh Khosrovani:  

Radiograph of a Family

Firouzeh Khosrovani
Iran, Norway, Switzerland / 2020 / 82 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
The Campaign Against the Climate
An investigative documentary unravels the net of complex relationships and motivations behind the groups that refuse to acknowledge potentially fatal impacts of the climatic crisis. Research and predictions of climatic experts and specialists from other related fields of science are questioned by communication specialists who reduce the issue to a task of finding convincing arguments to be fed to the general public. Given the world of lobbying and post-truth we live in, it's hardly surprising that some of the most influential anticlimactic think-tanks are financed by the biggest producers of fossil fuel. A gripping insight into the art of deception starts in 1988, the year when the world was getting ready to fight the climatic change. Ever since then, oil companies have worked behind the scenes, supporting or even organizing events in order to destroy or at least slow down environmental movements struggling to protect our planet, and to make the society turn against them.     “Mads Ellesøe is a journalist who can take on both the fine details and the big perspective. Both the compassionate portrait and the big revelation.”     You can watch the director’s introduction HERE Recorded Q&A with the director:
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The Campaign Against the Climate

Mads Ellesøe
Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Belgium / 2020 / 53 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
The Dilemma of Desire
The clitoris mainly serves for female pleasure and has long been ignored by modern medicine until recently. While a woman's body has always been considered an erotic symbol, a woman's sexual desire has always been considered less important than a man’s or even taboo. Biologist Stacey Dutton, queer activist Coriama, designer Ti Chang, and artist Sophia Wallace point out how cultural, political and religious norms ruled by patriarchal society have led women to suppress their own desire. Each of them tries to demystify the established perception of female sexuality and, thus, end phallic dominance. Because without the equality of pleasure, there can be no equal society.   „The Dilemma of Desire is a film that connects the consciousness of clitoral facts -- THE TRUTH -- with a female empowerment that is way beyond sexual satisfaction.“ M. FinitzoQ&A with the director Maria Finitzo:
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The Dilemma of Desire

Maria Finitzo
United States / 2020 / 108 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
The Foundation Pit
In 1930, Andrei Platonov completed his novel entitled The Foundation Pit, which explored the living dystopia of the Soviet regime as it began to lose meaning for the country’s people. Just as the workers in prose begin to question the world around them and cease to understand the meaning of their work, which eats away at their physical and mental wellbeing, many Russians today are expressing feelings of disillusionment with the current regime through posts uploaded on YouTube. When all official channels of communication are under the watchful eye of government authorities, the litany directed towards President Vladimir Putin can only be posted on the internet. And together they consist of a remarkable, found-footage fresco of the lives of the citizens of modern-day Russia, often living in poverty and helpless on the back of official propaganda.   “It's hard to tell the exact amount of footage, but it's around 80-90 hours of live recordings. Some videos lasted less than a minute, others went up to 10-20 minutes. In the end there were thousands of messages.” A. GryazevQ&A with the director of The Foundation Pit Andrey Gryazev:
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The Foundation Pit

Andrey Gryazev
Russia / 2020 / 71 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
The Other Side
This film has a limit of 200 views.   What does the concept of American freedom and independence even mean for a community full of drug addicts, strippers, war veterans, and ex-convicts living on the margins of society in a Southern small town? This detailed portrait of Louisiana residents from low-income backgrounds reveals how easy it is to despise people who are more inclined to be racist and militaristic regardless of what their life stories are or the difficulties they face in their daily lives. This feature film based on real characters and stories creates the illusion of a documentary that acts as a socio-critical and empathetic study of "rednecks" excluded from liberal-democratic discourse.   “Departing from reality means being held accountable and that makes my job deeper, I believe, and more meaningful.” – Roberto Minervini https://www.altkino.com/roberto-minervini-on-the-other-side
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The Other Side

Roberto Minervini
France, Italy / 2015 / 92 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
The Viewing Booth
This film has a limit of 300 views.     Lying at the heart of the film is Virginia Woolf's rhetorical question whether we really perceive the images of war in the same manner. These considerations provoked the director of the film to carry out an unusual audiovisual experiment. He presented several volunteers with 40 videos published freely on the Internet, which depict various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Closed in the viewing booth, they can play any of the clips, stop them at will, replay them, and comment on them. Their act of viewing, however, is recorded. And the director's dialogue with one particular participant eventually becomes an essential part of the film.     “It’s a film about a breakdown of communication, but that also becomes dialogue, although it’s a problematic dialogue.” R. Alexandrowicz Q&A with the director of The Viewing Booth Ra'ananem Alexandrowiczem:
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The Viewing Booth

Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Israel / 2019 / 72 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Traces of a Landscape
An immersive watercolour of the life of artist Jan Jedlička. The Czech painter, filmmaker and photographer emigrated to Switzerland in 1968 before making his second home in the desolate landscape of the Tuscan lowlands of Maremma. The empty palette of possibilities of internal exile gradually fills with enchanting paintings woven from a colorful mixture of shades of rocks, sediments, and pigments found in the landscape. The impressions of his new home, transferred ambiently onto canvas, photographs, and raw material of film, capture the inner sight and spiritual bond of an artist released from social structures, devoted only to his own work and life in a landscape of subdued light and shadow.     “Monitoring change is what interests me. There is no end result here, it evolves over time, it just keeps going.” J. Jedlička   Q&A - Petr Záruba, Alice Tabery:  
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Traces of a Landscape

Petr Záruba
Czech Republic, Italy / 2020 / 67 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
Vivos
At the end of September 2014, a group of students from the Ayotzinapa School of Education was brutally attacked by the police and masked assailants while passing through the city of Iguala. Six people were killed and another forty-three are missing after being abducted. Since then, their relatives have been living in uncertainty, unsuccessfully asking government authorities for the truth. In their minds, the victims are still alive. By alternating meditative, lyrical images and intimate interviews with the survivors, Ai Weiwei builds a complex, overly empathetic account of the tragedy caused by the repressive practices of a corrupt state where justice is almost impossible to obtain.   „The film is not an investigative documentary. It puts aside the facts uncovered by investigations into the case, paying more attention to how human survival is maintained under such circumstances. How does an ordinary family, after losing a loved one, face this society? How do they face themselves in their domestic lives? They must confront a reality they are unprepared for, which is the need to demand justice from the government and society.“ A. Weiwei
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Vivos

Ai Weiwei
Germany, Mexico / 2020 / 112 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
Czech Premiere
We are epicenters of the earthquake
The earth is scorched; trees are dying; species are becoming extinct; rivers are drying up. Human interventions have thrown the ecosystem off balance. The irreversible changes will have a devastating impact. A trip of a young urban couple to the country provides a base for a spontaneous poetic contemplation on dried-up landscape and mankind's environmental grief. Nature has ceased to be a relaxing place. Looking at nature can cause anguish. In this film about contradictions of ecological awareness, the ability to articulate such grief, be it through a prosaic statement or poem, meets the inability to let go off one's thoughts and feelings, to think outside the box and act on it.  
personal program

We are epicenters of the earthquake

Tomáš Hlaváček
Czech Republic / 2020 / 40 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
World Premiere
White on White
White on White is director Viera Čákanyová’s video diary that she kept while staying at the Polish Antarctic station, where in 2017 she shot the film FREM (2019), whose main character was an artificial neural network. During her stay, the author chats with various artificial intelligences, leading conversations that touch on the nature of film, art, and the meaning of life while also revealing a way of thinking that’s free from humanity and from an emotionality that forces deep introspection. Footage from her routine, everyday life at the station contrasts with lyrical images of the immaculate Antarctic nature, which the author complements with her own commentary and thoughts provoked by the loneliness of the ice-covered landscape.   „How can you think something fundamentally inhuman? I'm making a film about artificial intelligence, but it's getting harder, more absurd. The Antarctic landscape works like a drug. Am I walking in the white darkness, looking for a sense of relief? I am matter with consciousness, far from thermodynamic equilibrium. That’s is the only thing I can report on.“ V. ČákanyováQ&A with the director Viera Čákanyová:
personal program

White on White

Viera Čákanyová
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2020 / 74 min.
section: Echoes of Ji.hlava
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
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