28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlavadok-revuecdfEmerging producersInspiration Forum

activism

film database

Coconut Head Generation
One of the most prominent institutions of higher learning in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan, founded during the era of British colonial rule. It now has over 30,000 students. A handful of them meet every Thursday in one of the lecture halls to watch selected works by African filmmakers as part of a film club. The films, which deal with the ever-present problems of post-colonial countries, provoke heated discussions. Thanks to the nimble handheld camera, we become participants ourselves. During the protests against police brutality, the students' passion for political and social issues, sparked by the films they have seen, spills beyond the walls of the university building. “I would say that it’s an attempt to render visible the reality of Nigerian students. I wanted to depict the ordinary beauty and intelligence they display despite the challenges they face.” — Alain Kassanda Source: New Directors/New Films

Coconut Head Generation

Alain Kassanda
Nigeria, France / 2023 / 89 min.
section: Constellations, Ji.hlava Online
Czech Premiere
Death of the City
The director returns to his native Lisbon to find that the city has changed almost beyond recognition in his absence. He tries to capture this process of change on camera and at least document the last remnants of the metropolis as he remembered it on film. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the development of the real estate market and mass tourism are taking their toll on the buildings in the historic centre, where everything old and nostalgic must make way for the new and shiny. This time-lapse film follows the construction of one such building over the course of a year, taking a critical look at the labour issues of wage labour in Portugal. “Working on the form of a film is an organic process to me, which is always born from the confrontation between an idea and the material I have in front of the camera.” — João Rosas Source: DocLisboa.org

Death of the City

João Rosas
Portugal / 2022 / 115 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection, Ji.hlava Online
Czech Premiere
Heiresses
Who were the unknown heroines who helped to promote women's rights in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century? The documentary by producer and director Silvia Venegas highlights the importance of past and present activism that continues to fill the streets of Spain today with people demonstrating and paying tribute to those whose rebellion advanced the status of women in society and opened up opportunities they could only dream of before. But their journey is far from over… “Who were those mothers who occupied the streets of Europe to fight for our rights (the most important one being the right to vote, which finally recognized us as true citizens)?” — Silvia Venegas

Heiresses

Silvia Venegas
Spain / 2022 / 18 min.
section: Ji.hlava Online, Short Joy
International Premiere
Hey You, Our Elephant
Shoot the elephant and the problem is solved, says the invisible Prague City Council, which decides on financing culture. A bitterly satirical commentary on the disastrous state of the buildings of the National Gallery, Czech Television and Prague's monuments points out that we are all elephants with the roof of the menagerie falling in on our heads.

Hey You, Our Elephant

Václav Táborský
Czechoslovakia / 1963 / 9 min.
section: Czechoslovak Film Feuilleton, Ji.hlava Online
The film already had its Czech Premiere
King Coal
The central Appalachian region has always been associated with coal mining, which to this day is not only a source of livelihood but also influences and shapes the lifestyle of local communities. Elaine McMillion Sheldon's documentary is a compelling mosaic that weaves together the past and present myths of the region, as well as a poetic reflection on a unique environment and its transformation. King Coal, as she calls her home, is indeed a place that, like the mountaintops, is dominated by rugged beauty, dreaminess and mysterious stories.“Some think that place matters less today. But here, we know that our bodies are only ever in one place.”

King Coal

Elaine McMillion Sheldon
United States / 2023 / 78 min.
section: Ji.hlava Online, Opus Bonum
European Premiere
Live in a Non-Profit
There is no functioning democratic society without NGOs. They operate where the state cannot reach. At the same time, trust in the non-profit sector is consistently low in our country - according to a recent survey, 60 percent of adults do not trust them. Using the stories of several non-profit organizations as a backdrop, the documentary explores the current attitude of Czechs towards donations and the paradox resulting from the constant distrust of the non-profit sector on the one hand and the growing generosity of Czechs on the other.

Live in a Non-Profit

Markéta Oddfish Nešlehová
Czech Republic / 2023 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries, Ji.hlava Online
The film already had its Czech Premiere
Nothing Runs Like a Deere
A run-down Swedish small town. A hot summer evening. A group of young people meet in the parking lot of a local supermarket. The location doesn't offer much in the way of leisure activities. That’s why they’ve found their own hobby: cars. In their specially modified vehicles, they listen to music, date, race, try to outwit the police… Their cars are a source of pride and their main topic of conversation. An anthropological study of the car subculture slowly turns into a magical-realistic probe into the depths of the night, where hormones and phantom creatures awaken to the sound of revving engines. “When everyone else drives illegally, you can't keep up. If you are going to the city, and everyone drives 90, if you drive 30 you'll arrive an hour later.”

Nothing Runs Like a Deere

Max Göran
Sweden / 2023 / 17 min.
section: Doc Alliance Selection, Ji.hlava Online
Czech Premiere
Olympic Halftime
What impact do the Olympic Games have on their host cities? Athens, Tokyo, Beijing and Paris – cities that have changed the urban layout of entire neighbourhoods for the Olympics, transforming their appearance forever. Unused sports stadiums are falling into disrepair and grass is growing over them, while public attention is focused on the construction of new stadiums costing billions, displacing thousands of residents who have to make way for them. The director travels to Olympic host cities to explore this unsustainable cycle, which has a devastating effect on the city's economy, the environment, and the lives of ordinary people.“I think the ruins are alive, and in them the present, past and future all exist simultaneously.”The second projection will have English subtitles.

Olympic Halftime

Haruna Honcoop
Czech Republic / 2023 / 77 min.
section: Czech Joy, Ji.hlava Online
World Premiere
Orlando - or a Little History of the Middle Class
The protagonist of Virginia Woolf's Orlando was born a man. But, after thirty years of life, he wakes up as a woman and his previous perspective changes radically. Similarly, this personal film essay changes the perspective from which a middle-class story is usually presented. When you are neither rich nor poor, you struggle with the problem of identity all your life. All the more so if you are also a woman struggling for your rights, education and financial independence. Inspired by Daniela Dröscher's text, the film is not only about growing up in West Germany, but more generally about the difficulties of social mobility for those who are not heterosexual men. “It took a long time for me to realise that I'm from a lower-middle class family, from the petit bourgeois. For some time, I didn't know what to call my social position.”

Orlando - or a Little History of the Middle Class

Catalina Flórez, Jelena Jeremejewa
Germany / 2023 / 42 min.
section: Ji.hlava Online, Testimonies
International Premiere
Pitch Black
Inspired by the stories of three protagonists involved in the misogynistic incel subculture, this short hybrid film presents the manifestations and sources of patriarchal extremism, which is increasingly escaping from virtual space into the real world. “The term [incel] has become so detached from the original meaning that it´s become useless.”

Pitch Black

Guillym Davenport
Australia / 2023 / 16 min.
section: Ji.hlava Online, Short Joy
European Premiere
Rosinha and Other Wild Animals
A historical documentary conceived as a discussion of history and method of production – this is one way to interpret the film about the Portuguese Colonial Exhibition, held in Porto in 1934. From archival print and video material, a pair of researchers piece together a picture of an event officially presented as a showcase of the southern European country's foreign achievements. However, with the hindsight of more than 70 years, the clearly racist dimension of the event stands out. The objectification of the gaze of the passing visitors on the titular Rosinha and other forcibly imported members of African ethnic groups finds a parallel in the operation of zoos, museums and similar institutions. “The titular Rosinha is a Guinean native who became the symbol of the first Portuguese Colonial Exhibition presented by the Estado Novo in 1934. A trip to the past to better understand the present.” Source: IndieLisboa International Film Festival

Rosinha and Other Wild Animals

Marta Pessoa
Portugal / 2023 / 101 min.
section: Ji.hlava Online, Opus Bonum
International Premiere
The Grief of the Forest
Children in the Vysočina region miss the forests that climate change and the bark beetle calamity have taken away. How do they cope with this loss and how does the School Forest project help? Environmentalist Barbora Klocová sought answers to these and many other questions. She filmed a total of 31 personal interviews with children and adolescents from the Highlands aged 8 to 18.

The Grief of the Forest

Barbora Klocová
Czech Republic / 2023 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries, Ji.hlava Online
The film already had its Czech Premiere
The World According to My Dad
“I thought it would be easier,” admits director Marta Kovářová halfway through the film. In the form of a vivid diary, she captures her father's fight for climate justice. Jiří Svoboda from the Institute of Physics of Materials of the Czech Academy of Sciences came up with an ingeniously simple idea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He proposes a global carbon price. Accompanied by his daughter's camera and songs, the Brno scientist visits local protest meetings and global environmental summits. The infectious determination of both protagonists, however, clashes with the slothfulness of politicians and the inflexibility of power structures. Yet Svoboda never loses his humour and his belief that certain things make sense simply because they are the right thing to do.“I wanted to use the film to examine why the world couldn't work the way my dad imagines it in the kitchen.” — Marta KovářováThe quote from dok.revue.

The World According to My Dad

Marta Kovářová
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2023 / 77 min.
section: Czech Joy, Ji.hlava Online
International Premiere
Where God Is Not
Under the direction of director Mehran Tamadon, an empty warehouse on the outskirts of Paris is transformed into a prison cell. He reconstructs the claustrophobic space according to the descriptions of three people who were imprisoned by the Iranian regime for their political views. Taghi Rahmani is a proscribed journalist who was harshly interrogated countless times. Mazyar Ebrahimi ran a film equipment rental business and was accused of espionage after a competitor slandered him. Homa Kahlori experienced torture at the hands of Iranian jailors in the 1980s. While each of them describes and re-enacts in detail the effect of the horrific experiences on the body and mind, we wonder along with the director whether there is a staging method that could ever capture similar hardships to their full extent. “In Where God Is Not, I tried to be delicate with my characters, because the trauma is huge, and I had to take care of them. I always tried to make sure that they could go on; I kept asking them how they felt. I was really with them, and I understood that re-creating these scenes could even help them a bit. But it wasn't my sole goal to help them; it was to make the film. I don't think that a filmmaker is an angel or that he has only good intentions.” — Mehran Tamadon Source: Cineuropa

Where God Is Not

Mehran Tamadon
Switzerland, France / 2023 / 112 min.
section: Constellations, Ji.hlava Online
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe Media
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
GEMO
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
Aktuálně.cz
Respekt
Dafilms