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23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Special Event

Exceptional cinema events that guide us through a deep and critical reflection of the meanders of lived life in an unparalleled manner.

film database

A Letter to a Friend in Gaza
A film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict whose author shows uncompromising disapproval of the Gaza blockade, trying to stir responsibility in Israelis for their actions. As his basic tool, he uses readings of thematic stories and poems by Albert Camus, Mahmoud Darwish, Yizhar Smilansky and others.
personal program

A Letter to a Friend in Gaza

Amos Gitai
Israel / 2018 / 34 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Aquarela
Aquarela' takes audiences on a deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. Filmed at a rare 96 frames-per-second, the film is a visceral wake-up call that humans are no match for the sheer force and capricious will of Earth’s most precious element.
personal program

Aquarela

Viktor Kossakovsky
Germany, United Kingdom / 2018 / 89 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
aw • rah • nyoosh
The young filmmaker and his father try to understand the experiences of his grandmother, who survived a concentration camp. Re-enacted scenes from a diary blur the line between witness and conspiracy, and the attempt at a reconstruction of the events opens the question whether, faced with death, anyone can ever remain a hero.
personal program

aw • rah • nyoosh

Ben Neufeld
Germany, Poland, Ukraine, United States / 2018 / 71 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Combat Obscura
The film is a series of images of everyday life of US soldiers at an Afghanistan military base, interviews and shaky shots from a hand-held field camera. Alongside matter-of-fact depictions of devastating consequences of war, the filmmaker also reveals behind-the-scenes army life bursting with cynicism, chauvinist humor, but with fear and anxiety, too. 
personal program

Combat Obscura

Miles Lagoze
Afghanistan, United States / 2018 / 68 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
El Pepe: A Supreme Life
The story uf Uruguayan José “Pepe” Mujica’s is like no other: a humble man who became his country’s president by sticking true to his beliefs and at the same time embracing change. It is the story of a political activist and a former leftist guerrilla fighter from the Latin American left. „Pepe“ is proud of his past but far from resting on his laurels.
personal program

El Pepe: A Supreme Life

Emir Kusturica
Serbia, Uruguay, Argentina / 2018 / 74 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Following
Outside the Internet, Youtubers are ordinary people like us; at least that’s what we can see in a film that follows five of the new rock stars for a year. Offering insights into their family background, creative thinking and ideological bedrock of the people who belong to the greatest influencers and who shape today’s young generation.

Following

Jiří Sádek
Czech Republic / 2017 / 91 min.
section: Special Event
World Premiere
Gulyabani
Clairvoyant Fethiye Sessiz remembers life in a violent Turkish society and reflects on the political developments of the last century in the Middle East, in contrast with his personal experiences. An abstract visual collage and highly stylized images complement the philosophical and mystical testimonies of the main protagonist.
personal program

Gulyabani

Gürcan Keltek
Turkey, Netherlands / 2018 / 35 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
how we live – messages to the family
Migration is a natural process and moving images have crossed borders ever since the invention of film. Using found footage and based on his own journey from the Netherlands to Morocco, Austrian director Gustav Deutsch deconstructs home video as a format as an unconscious aesthetic code connecting homes across various frontiers.
personal program

how we live – messages to the family

Gustav Deutsch
Austria / 2017 / 107 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
I Had Nowhere to Go
While iconic experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas recounts his childhood in occupied Lithuania, the image remains silent or shrouded in mystery. The horrors of war cannot be shown directly, and so the main role is taken by the soundtrack, with Mekas’s voice shattered into a chaos of bangs, explosions, and excerpts of modern classical music.

I Had Nowhere to Go

Douglas Gordon
Germany / 2016 / 98 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Meeting Gorbachev
A confrontational dialogue between Werner Herzog and the last Soviet president is the core of a portrait made up primarily of archival and illustrative footage against the background of which Herzog’s hypnotic voice reflects on Gorbachev’s political career, including the eras of perestroika and glasnost, through his tragic end.
personal program

Meeting Gorbachev

André Singer, Werner Herzog
Germany, United States, United Kingdom / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Meuthen's Party
Jörg Meuthen looks like a polite provincial politician. This intimate behind-the-scenes look at his candidacy for German parliament as a member of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) – putting up posters, speaking at pubs, giving speeches before thousands of people – illustrates the unsettling ability of demagogic rhetoric to speak to the masses.

Meuthen's Party

Marc Eberhardt
Germany / 2017 / 93 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Mrs. Fang
Mrs. Fang suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. She no longer recognizes the people around her, she cannot speak and can barely move. Mrs. Fang is dying. Her relatives, friends and the filmmaker have gathered by her bed to, over the course of several days, show us dying as something that is both ordinary and that connects us all.

Mrs. Fang

Wang Bing
Germany, China, France / 2017 / 86 min.
section: Special Event
Central European Premiere
One Day in the Haram
Abrar Hussain spent over a year researching different aspects of the Haram in Makkah. He brings this extraordinary story of the place so revered that non-Muslims are forbidden from even setting foot in it. For the 1st time in history, witness the inner workings of the Haram, as seen through the eyes of the workers, over a full day period.
personal program

One Day in the Haram

Abrar Hussain
United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia / 2018 / 85 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Pope Francis: A Man of His Word
A documentary looking at Pope Francis’ personality. The first Latin American pope in history expresses his largely progressive views on poverty, death, Church scandals and other social topics. The film also deals with the figure of St. Francis of Assisi whose name was adopted by the current Pope.
personal program

Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

Wim Wenders
France, Germany, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland / 2018 / 96 min.
section: Special Event
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
Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia / 2018 / 102 min.
section: Special Event
Report
A 700-minute documentary is a historical record of the changes of independent music across China. Film, mammoth and complete, shows evolution and conflicts in which several generations of Chinese society are involved.
personal program

Report

Fan Wu
China / 2018 / 700 min.
section: Special Event
World Premiere
Risk
Risk was made over the course of six years, during which the director was in close contact with Julian Assange in his asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Poitras showed the film at last year’s festival in Cannes, but she later re-cut it, thus turning a positive portrait of her subject into a film that casts Assange in a more ambivalent light.

Risk

Laura Poitras
Germany, United States / 2017 / 92 min.
section: Special Event
Central European Premiere
Roi Soleil
The film is a montage of the filmmaker’s installation featuring the actor Lluís Serrat as King Louis XIV posing his death agony for full seven days in front of visitors at the Graça Brandão gallery. The stertorous monarch spends most of his time rolling on the floor in the austere gallery interiors lit by red light.
personal program

Roi Soleil

Albert Serra
Portugal, Spain / 2018 / 61 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Sarajevo Songs of Woe
"SARAJEVO SONGS OF WOE" is a filmic triptych containing of the two tales "Blue Ballad for Lovers" and "Blue Rondo for Survivors" and the documentary middle part "Blue Psalm for Wolves". They are flowing into each other and so building up a universal mosaic of fragmented life situated in the town of Sarajevo. The camera follows different protagonists and interweaves with their cinematic round-dance of hope and despair, love and death and their quest for a dignified life.

Sarajevo Songs of Woe

Fred Kelemen
Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina / 2016 / 140 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Stories of Passers Through
An escape from Baghdad, loss of his close ones and home, a longstanding yearning for the homeland, searching for one’s place in the world: the author has suffered the whole lot. A neverending stream of news about the war, disrupted phone conversations along with the noise of airplane and trains – these are the touches in his painful journey. The film consists of a montage of older shots, pictures and staged scenes.
personal program

Stories of Passers Through

Koutaiba Al-Janabi
Hungary, United Kingdom, Iraq / 2018 / 67 min.
section: Special Event
European Premiere
The Candidate: The Rise of Emmanuel Macron
Shot in the style of traditional observational documentaries, The Candidate takes a behind-the-scenes look at the election campaign of the current French president Emmanuel Macron. But the camera focuses not just on his flashy façade – it mainly looks at how it was created with the help of various advisors and spin doctors.

The Candidate: The Rise of Emmanuel Macron

Yann l'Hénoret
France / 2017 / 112 min.
section: Special Event
World Premiere
The Dead Nation
This minimalist documentary consists primarily of photographs of small Romanian towns from the 1930s and ’40s, plus excerpts from the diary of a Jewish doctor living in Bucharest. The description of the horrors of Romanian fascism and the Holocaust is reflected in seemingly peaceful, stylized scenes of life close to war.
personal program

The Dead Nation

Radu Jude, Ada Solomon
Romania / 2017 / 83 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
The Image Book
The sadism of images/signs sneaking into our memory. Illustrated lies and false morality born out of political crimes. JLG’s audiovisual diary, a chronicle of thought and deconstruction of images, confronts various expressions of threats to the spirit, culture and civilization. Eisenstein, Hollywood, jihadi YouTubers. The war has started.
personal program

The Image Book

Jean-Luc Godard
France, Switzerland / 2018 / 84 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
The White World According to Daliborek
Dalibor, the protagonist of Vít Klusák’s latest documentary film, lives with his mother and her boyfriend, works at a lousy job, and likes to shoot extreme YouTube videos. He is also a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi. The film is a grotesque portrait of the denigrated and frustrated layers of society that give rise to extremism.

The White World According to Daliborek

Vít Klusák
Czech Republic / 2017 / 105 min.
section: Special Event
University and Freedom
Universities are facing an urgent dilema: Should they provide education, or labour force for the current job market? This film essay follows several lines of thinking about tertiary education as well as a personal line of one of the authors, making an important point – university is also where we learn the habits of democratic decision making.

University and Freedom

Vít Janeček, Zuzana Piussi
Czech Republic / 2017 / 68 min.
section: Special Event
Work in Progress
Up' Rising 68
In May 1968, France experienced yet another revolutionary moment. Students and workers entered a general strike, action committees were formed, people were engaging in debates in from of factories, and there was fighting in the streets. Contemporary footage creates an epic fresco of events during which the energy of utopian ideals helped shake the society.
personal program

Up' Rising 68

Jacques Kebadian, Andrieu Michel
France / 2018 / 80 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
Walked the Way Home
In 2015, after the terrorist attacks in the streets of France, military patrols appeared. The filmmaker took advantage of this and began filming his journey to and from work. The result is an impressive assemblage of reactions to passing soldiers and people walking around them. The experience is enhanced by a soundtrack of typical military sounds.
personal program

Walked the Way Home

Eric Baudelaire
Italy, France / 2018 / 27 min.
section: Special Event
International Premiere
West of the Jordan River
In 1982, Amos Gitai made a video diary tracking the progress of the peace process in the West Bank. Thirty-five years later, in something of a follow-up film, he conducts a dialogue with the inhabitants of the occupied territory. Disillusioned by politics, the Palestinians and the Israelis are trying to find their own way to achieve long-term changes.

West of the Jordan River

Amos Gitai
France / 2017 / 84 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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