26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Special Event

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

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Bigger Than Us
This riveting documentary odyssey is an authentic sweep of defiance that captures the very motto of environmental activists: think globally, act locally. The film follows Melati, an 18-year-old Indonesian girl and well-established activist against plastic pollution, who represents six other brave individuals that have defied complacency and inaction and decided to tackle the burning issues of a globalized world. These young activists endeavor to save lives and are committed to educating and edifying others. For them, impossible is nothing. They can still change the world so long as they have faith that their actions make a difference. This documentary work is a cultural artifact that effectively weaponizes activism, hope, and determination against the blatant ignorance of the masses. All with regard to what’s bigger than us.    "How many marches are we going to do, how many lives are going to be lost, how many whales are going to be washed up with plastic in their stomachs until we actually see change happening ? And where does that come from and who leads it ? Cause, we have no more time." (Melati Wijsen)
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Bigger Than Us

Flore Vasseur
France / 2021 / 95 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass
Oscar-winning screenwriter, director and author Oliver Stone comes back to where it all began, 30 years after the release of his film JFK. JFK Revisited could be considered a spiritual sequel to his legendary 1991 movie, though it does not depart from the genre basis of an intellectual detective thriller, since this time, it is a factual, speculative and, unsurprisingly, a healthily provocative documentary investigation. Stone, inspired by the book, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case, relentlessly plunges into thousands of declassified documents from the CIA and FBI archives, and tries to put the assassination of the 35th US president, surrounded by many myths, into social and political contexts of now and then. “This documentary represents an important link to my 1990s movie, JFK. It really weaves many threads and refuses most ignorance around the film and the case itself,” the director, ex voluntary soldier and Vietnam veteran told Variety magazine. With his documentary, Stone once again challenges the thin lines between hard facts and conspiracies, once again tries to find out the “truth” about life, political legacy and real reasons behind the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Not for a single moment does he forget to provoke his viewers to stay vigilant, curious and to critically assess the world and the events around us.
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JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass

United States, United Kingdom / 2021 / 118 min.
section: Special Event
New Books
The presentation of new books published in 2021 will be hosted by editor in chief of the magazine Dok.revue, Kamila Boháčková. Lucie Králová ROZUMĚT TELEVIZI. Produkční kultura České televize 1993–2017. (NAMU, 2021) For a few years, I immersed myself in uncomfortable television offices, editing rooms, and labyrinthine corridors, and had many conversations about how things work in television, how it should and should not be done, and why television employees think it can't be done any other way. I argued at length with people situated higher in the system than me, because as a dramaturge and director I was interested in what they based their beliefs on, what a documentary "suitable" for television should look like, how its maker should work, and who the viewer was, that “lady from Normalville”. I tried to understand how these ideas about documentary were formed and what impact they have on contemporary television production. I observed the "television tribe" with its peculiar rituals and decision-making processes, narratives, professional vocabularies, and explored the underlying mechanisms of power and discipline. I recorded dozens of in-depth interviews and kept a field journal for five years. From this ethnographic research into the production culture of CT, I wrote the book Understanding Television: Czech Television's Production Culture 1993-2017 based on my dissertation at FAMU. Jiří Voráč Vojtěch Jasný: Filmový básník v exilu (Host, 2020) The new monograph by film historian Jiří Voráč Vojtěch Jasný: Filmový básník v exilu (Film Poet in Exile) focuses on a little-known stage in the life of the legendary director, the creator of Všech dobrých rodáků (All the Good Natives, 1968), who worked in western Europe and North America after 1968 and made over thirty cinematographic and television films and documentaries, directed theatre, photographed, and taught at film schools. The book is based on extensive archival research and makes copious use of unique manuscript sources from Jasný's personal archive, including diaries, memoirs, correspondence, and unrealized scripts. Vladimir 518 (ed.) ARCHITEKTURA 58–89 (Bigg Boss, 2021) At the end of its fifteen-year existence, Bigg Boss Publishers has put together one of the biggest book projects in its history. More than thirty experts will present over forty architects and groups that made a significant impact on the history of Czechoslovak architecture between 1958 and 1989. The two volumes of thousands of pages will become a solid building block for “normalizing” relations between the public and stigmatized pre-revolutionary architecture. In addition to expert texts, the book, designed by 20YY Designers, is shaped by historical drawings, rare designs and plans, and, above all, unique period photographs, many of them unpublished, from archives across the country. The presentation of the new book will be held by Ondřej Čížek, PR and copywriter of Bigg Boss Publishers. Alice Lovejoy Experimentální dílna. Československá armádní kinematografie 1920–1970 (NFA, 2021) Photographer and director Jiří Jeníček, who headed the military film group in the 1930s, contributed with his whole person and in the spirit of modern ideas about the use of film and photography to a new style and expression of military (especially short) film. From the beginning, he considered military cinematography to be synonymous with an experimental studio. The author of the book, the American film historian Alice Lovejoy, who conducted almost ten years of research in Czech archives, notes that what is particularly remarkable is how the institutional identity created by Jeníček survived in the military environment for the next three decades. It was visible even in the 1950s and experienced a real renaissance in the 1960s, when Czechoslovak Army Film (ČAF) became probably the freest space for film production in Czechoslovakia. The book, first published in the US in 2015, asks a fundamental question: How could experimental film (which, moreover, usually criticized the military or the state itself) appear in an institution as rigid as the army?
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New Books

120 min.
section: Special Event
noimage
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Rudolf Adler: A Talk in the Mill

Rudolf Adler
Czechoslovakia / 1975 / 90 min.
section: Special Event
That which is to come is just a promise
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That which is to come is just a promise

Flatform
Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand / 2019 / 22 min.
section: Special Event
East European Premiere
The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts
This defiant feminist mosaic subversively recontextualizes archived materials dating back to the 1950s. Footage taken from a medical laboratory, an educational film on menstruation, and an amateur fantasy film about a mermaid gain whole new meanings. The repurposed shots represent the female body as a kind of freak show of bodily processes, sexuality, and maladaptation. Opposing the distorted imagery of women rooted in our patriarchal world is American poet Gertrude Stein, who seeks to bridge the gap between the "body of the body" and the "body of the mind" and achieve the integrity denied to women by Western society.   "I deconstruct a purely cinematic reality that to me seems disturbing, humorous, and just plain visually provocative. The composition of a single frame displaces the seedbed where I can cultivate my paintings and collages."

The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts

Lynne Sachs
1991 / 30 min.
section: Special Event
The Old Believers
The title refers to members of an old Christian sect who were forced to leave their native Russia because of their beliefs. In the seventeenth century a group of these people settled in the Danube Delta in Romania. Jana Ševčíková visited the descendents of these emigrants over a period of five years. Her efforts resulted in an archive-like documentary which stands out within Czech cinematography. It is a portrayal of a specific community as well as a meditative contemplation, pointing to aspects that are already lost in modern-day society. Glosses of the inhabitants and scenes from their everyday life - permeated with religious rituals - alternate in the film with bewitching views of the delta landscape. The atmosphere is determined by the use of black-and-white film, which absorbs itself in the faces of characters, in tree bark and on water surfaces. This creates an image of almost mystical order ruling over the community. The flow of time is not a sign of change here. It is instead a continuation, in which birth and death are but part of a self-renewing order passed on in customs and beliefs, and having maintained a remarkably well-preserved form over several centuries.
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The Old Believers

Jana Ševčíková
Czech Republic / 2001 / 47 min.
section: Special Event
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
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