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26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Tribute: Vitaly Mansky

Vitaly Mansky is a renowned Russian director and the author of a number of films awarded at festivals across many continents. In his Ji.hlava masterclass, he focuses on three recent films he has made in co-production with the Czech Republic. Under the Sun, Putin’s Witnesses and Gorbachev. Heaven are all linked by the theme of the interplay between freedom and tyranny. In spite of this, they are each completely different. As has been his practice, the director has come up with a rather unique approach for each of them, drawing, as always, on his Manifesto, which he called "Real Cinema" in 2005.

film database

Gorbachev. Heaven
For some, the destructor of the Soviet empire, betrayer of his own country, iconoclast. For many a peacemaker, bringer of faith, dynamic figure of the global world. A portrait of the spiritual father of perestroika and glasnost, Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev, presents an intimate struggle between two personalities: an aging, though still vital legend of Russian politics and a critical creator, interrogator and philosopher. Both offer their own versions of understanding the key moments of the socialist era’s end in Russia. Vitaly Mansky composes a mosaic made up of contemplative moments and debates intertwined with singing and poetry. A documentary epitaph of a feeble-bodied statesman put in contrast with the chaos of Putin’s contemporary Russia. A requiem for an echoing spring of the heavenly music of one’s childhood.   „I wished to see a man behind the cold marble, who decided to make the world a better place to live. And that’s why, for a long time, we didn’t give up hopes of convincing this life-beaten, almost 90-year-old man to let us into his world of desolation, frustrations, but also a joy of freedom!” (Vitaly Mansky)
personal program

Gorbachev. Heaven

Vitaly Mansky
Czech Republic, Latvia / 2020 / 100 min.
section: Tribute: Vitaly Mansky
Czech Premiere
Putin's Witnesses
Vitaly Mansky revisits footage which he shot in late 1999 in close proximity to Vladimir Putin, when he first entered office as President of Russia. Mansky's commentary reflects on the epoch and Putin's actions and behavior, contrasting these with subsequent events. 
personal program

Putin's Witnesses

Vitaly Mansky
Latvia, Switzerland, Czech Republic / 2018 / 102 min.
section: Tribute: Vitaly Mansky
Under the Sun
Over the course of one year, this film follows the life of an ordinary Pyongyang family whose daughter was chosen to take part in one of the famous Korean "Spartakiads". The ritualised explosions of colour and joy contrast sharply with pale everyday reality, which is not particularly terrible, but rather quite surreal, like a typical life as seen "through the looking glass". The film portrays North Korea in probably the only possible way: as an unintentional situational tragicomedy. Precisely staged film scenes duplicate principles common for life in "the most beautiful country on the eastern side of the globe": virtually horrifying selfstaging of the residents’ own lives.“Zin-mi, you have joined Children’s Union, what do you expect from your adult life?” “When joining the Children‘s Union,we enter to the adult life. And begin to think, what else shall you do for the Great Leader Kim Jong Un.” (From the film.)
personal program

Under the Sun

Vitaly Mansky
Czech Republic, Russia, Germany, North Korea, Latvia / 2015 / 106 min.
section: Tribute: Vitaly Mansky
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt
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