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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Tribute to Roberto Minervini

Director Roberto Minervini, originally from Italy, currently lives in the United States, where he explores American rural life and the fringes of southern society. In his work, he attempts to reveal the truth through the dramatization of reality and blurring the boundaries between documentary and feature film, between reality and narrative fiction. Minervini's films function as intimate portraits of individuals, as well as sociological studies in which he often focuses on economic injustice, racism and dysfunctional family relationships. He creates his films out of personal need and at the same time perceives them as a political project that helps him understand life in American society.

You can watch Masterclass with Roberto Minervini HERE.

The section was supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague and the US Embassy in Prague.

film database

Low Tide
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: Tribute to Roberto Minervini
The Other Side
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
personal program

The Other Side

Roberto Minervini
France, Italy / 2015 / 92 min.
section: Tribute to Roberto Minervini
What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?
In 2017, the American South saw a growing wave of violence and brutal killings against the African-American population caused by both police and right-wing extremists. The film documents the African-American community's response and its strategy to resist racially motivated violence and fight for justice for its people. The camera remains a silent observer witnessing protests in the streets, meetings of the reemerging Black Panther movement, and the day-to-day struggle of local entrepreneurs and community leaders, while the film itself offers intimate insight into the reality of systemic racism in the US and the Black community’s fears, hopes, dreams, and family lives.    “Why don’t they respect us? Because we were never considered people from the beginning. We was already considered animals.” 
personal program

What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?

Roberto Minervini
Italy, United States, France / 2018 / 123 min.
section: Tribute to Roberto Minervini
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