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22nd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Czech Television Documentaries

Czech Television continues with screenings of its documentary films that have proved highly popular at previous editions of the festival, offering not just its co-production films included in competition sections but also 26 films from current production that will be presented at Horácké divadlo.

film database

Born in 1918
Vlasta Šrůtková has lived through many ups and down not just in her own life, but in the life of her country. She is exceptionally vital for her age, living on Prague’s Kampa Island, a perfect place for reflecting on Czech history, identity, the nation. Her life is an exceptionally strong story in which the central event of our country are also key moments in her own life. 

Born in 1918

Eva Tomanová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
Brothers Beyond the Grave
Their parents came to Czechoslovakia in August 1968 along with the occupying forces. Today, these “children of Milovice” find themselves on opposing sides in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. These “brothers,” destined for “friendship for all eternity,” are now shooting at one another. How do the children of the former officers stationed in Milovice see the contemporary Czech Republic and Russia? 

Brothers Beyond the Grave

Martin Jazairi
Czech Republic / 2017 / 59 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Czechs Save… Antelopes in Senegal
The largest antelope in the world, the giant eland, lives in the Senegalese savannah and is on the verge of extinction. Its numbers hover somewhere around the last two hundred individuals. A team led by engineer Karolína Brandlová has managed something unprecedented: At the Bandia Reservation just a few kilometers from the country’s capital, they have succeeded – through careful breeding and with the help of Senegalese preservationists and the operators of a local safari – to turn a group of just six antelopes into a herd numbering several dozen animals. The second episode of a documentary series hosted by Dan Bárta about endangered animals throughout the world.

Czechs Save… Antelopes in Senegal

Zdeněk Suchý
Czech Republic / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
Czechs Save… Sea Turtles in Borneo
The documentary series Czechs Save… with host Dan Bárta looks at endangered animals all over the world and the Czech naturalists who, often thousands of kilometers away from home, are working to save them. The first episode of the series focuses on the work of the young biologist Hana Svobodová, who is trying to protect sea turtles on several islands around Borneo. Although there exist other breeding stations, her extensive knowledge of the turtles lives allows her to help them more effectively.

Czechs Save… Sea Turtles in Borneo

Zdeněk Suchý
Czech Republic / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
Don’t Give Up: All Around Me Lives and Feels Like Me
Painter, wood-carver, typesetter, printer, writer, and poet Josef Váchal was one of the most distinctive artists of the 20th century. He left behind an extensive body of work, in which his monumental book – a kind of modern codex devoted to his great love, the Bohemian Forest – holds a remarkable place. With The Bohemian Forest: Dying, Romantic, the inveterate wanderer and pilgrim Josef Váchal offers an enduring testemony of the ancient face of the Bohemian Forest and its inimitable and disappearing beauty. 

Don’t Give Up: All Around Me Lives and Feels Like Me

Karel Čtveráček
Czech Republic / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Don’t Give Up: Every Bike Has Two Souls
The Bikes for Africa charitable project has been operating in the Czech Republic since 2012. Its mission is to offer African children a way of getting to school. The project is founded on the principles of giving, volunteerism, cooperation, and people’s personal initiative. One interesting paradox is the fact that the project involves people from the margins of society (prisoners, homeless people), who recieve a “second chance,” thus giving the project not only a humanitarian, but also an environmental dimension involving the “ecology of the soul.” The film shows all these aspects of the project, set against the journey of one particular bicycle donated by a Czech girl to her Gambian peer. 

Don’t Give Up: Every Bike Has Two Souls

Martin Homan
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Don’t Give Up: Hope for the Arhuaco
The Arhuaco are an indigenous tribe that has resisted fate for more than 400 years, but that today, because of the advanced technology of mining companies, politicians’ arrogance, and the spread of tourism find their existence threatened. Their houses are demolished by giant bulldozers. In July 2017, some 180 families were forced from their homes, and today they live in squalor in a park in the town of Puerto Bello. Their sacred sites have been burned. In response, an organization was founded in the Czech Republic to try to help the Arhuaco purchase their original lands, so that they can return… 

Don’t Give Up: Hope for the Arhuaco

Iva Tereza Grosskopfová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Don’t Give Up: In the Thrall of the Woods
The current, widespread bark beetle infestation shows clearly that the spruce monoculture in the Czech landscape is a great problem. And yet, spruces are being replanted in places where forests should never be. The illegal planting of forests is a trend that people involved in environmental protection have been observing for several years now. Owners of land classified as meadows and pastureland are planting woodlands, primarily spruce, in defiance of the law, thus driving out endangered species of plants and animals, changing the traditional character of the landscape, and making it less attractive for visitors. 

Don’t Give Up: In the Thrall of the Woods

Tomáš Netočný
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
From Love to Hatred 2: Domestic Violence on Men
After its successful documentary film featuring interviews with five abused women, Czech Television takes a look at another side of domestic violence. The stories of the film’s four male protagonists show that although the methods of violence are similar, the victims’ are in a much different position: Violence against men is usually questioned, and their partners, however manipulative and aggressive, are in a much more advantageous position, since the men, as representatives of the supposedly stronger sex, are generally not believed. The film is the first ever documentary to look at this socially taboo subject. 

From Love to Hatred 2: Domestic Violence on Men

Štěpán Romuald Rob
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
In Mosul
Shock therapy through front-line reporting. Documentary filmmaker Jana Andert spent eight months with an elite unit of the Iraqi army on the front lines of the battle for Mosul, which was occupied by Islamic State fighters from 2014 to June 2017. A fearless report from a city in ruins, robbed of its soul by one of the greatest catastrophes of our times.

In Mosul

Jana Andert
Czech Republic / 2018 / 70 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Infiltration: The Health Business
After fifteen years, Czech Television has filmed a sequel to its successful documentary cycle Infiltration. This time around, the filmmakers focused on psychosomatic medicine in the Czech Republic. Unhappy with the quality of medical care and with doctors’ lack of empathy and time, many patients have turned to “alternative” treatments. But if “alternative” treatment is offered by academically certified doctors and psychologists, are they just as responsible for their actions in non-medical facilities as they are in regular doctors’ offices and hospitals? The documentary uncovers the scandalous medical practices at one Prague facility, shot over the course of one year using a hidden camera.

Infiltration: The Health Business

Šárka Maixnerová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 62 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
King Skate
Sticking to the asphalt. Zipping through space. Everything in motion. Skateboard! In the gray atmosphere of 1970s and ’80s communist Czechoslovakia, it was something completely new and different. Love at first sight. A never-ending party. Adrenaline. Cult figures of the era’s skateboard scene tell their stories of broken bones, unbroken friendships, and wild rides towards freedom amidst communism.

King Skate

Šimon Šafránek
Czech Republic / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
Neptune
This black-and-white film combines re-enactments with original footage from Operation Neptune, one of the Czechoslovak secret police’s first attempts at media manipulation, during which a group of reporters comes across secret Nazi documents at the bottom of a lake. The film’s focus, however, is on the struggle between a skeptical journalist and a high-ranking police official, and the failed attempt at revealing the state-sponsored disinformation.

Neptune

Adéla Babanová
Czech Republic / 2018 / 38 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
Stubborn Architect Martin Rajniš
Martin Rajniš, the “enfant terrible” of Czech architecture, refuses to accept the current state of his field and of society in general. He is just as “terrible” as the French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who designed Washington, D.C., for President Thomas Jefferson. According to one version, the expression “enfant terrible” was inspired by the fact that L’Enfant was extremely difficult to work with. Today, however, it often describes someone original, daring, and direct. The documentary captures Rajniš’s inspirational approach and his working process – both at his studio in Prague and at his country cottage in the village of Maxov in the Jizera Mountains.

Stubborn Architect Martin Rajniš

Roman Vávra
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
That Moment: Classmates Among the Tanks
Fifty years ago, they lived through the invasion of Czechoslovakia; now they revisit moments captured on film. Věra Křesadlová and her young sons quickly left to be with her husband Miloš Forman in Paris. Petr Semerád witnesses soldiers shooting into crowds of people by the main radio station in Prague. Czech Television’s documentary series on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 invasion was inspired by the popular Israeli series Capturing the Moment, which has been adapted in eight different countries.

That Moment: Classmates Among the Tanks

Zdeněk Tyc
Czech Republic / 2018 / 26 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The Arch of Lights and Shadows
They met on a Friday and got married on the Sunday.  They had to run away from home to flee from their parents' fury, so they went on a honeymoon to the cannibals. There, they lost their illusions, their camera and nearly their lives as well.  Where others would've given up, American filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson risked their lives to narrate an account of a vanishing wilderness. Their story is an authentic imprint of times when filming Africa was more dangerous than all the local predators and malaria. Their work fascinated the public including Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin and the British Royal Family. However, our era has forgotten them...

The Arch of Lights and Shadows

Jan Svatoš
Czech Republic / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The Crimean (Pen) Insula
A documentary look at this current political issue presents unique scenes of life in the annexed territory where foreign journalists and television crews are not allowed. The film is a mosaic portrait of several men and women, whose everyday lives have been affected by the political crisis between Ukraine and Russia. Just as international pressure and sanctions have made the Crimean peninsula a de facto island, so too are the supporters and opponents of Russian annexation isolated (pen)insulas in search of their identity within the sea of a divided society. 

The Crimean (Pen) Insula

Jaroslav Kratochvíl
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
The Family of Alois Rašín
Alois and Ladislav Rašín, who paid for their lives for their patriotic endeavors, did not get the recognition they deserved, and after the communist takeover in 1948 their names were erased from memory. Their forgotten lives are now recalled in a historical docudrama featuring Alois Rašín’s great-granddaughter Karolina Breitenmoser. 

The Family of Alois Rašín

Jiří Svoboda
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
The Last Hope of Věra Bílá
Věra Bílá was once one of the largest celebrities on the Czech music scene. Together with the band Kale, she went on numerous tours of Europe, the USA, and Japan. But after leaving the band in 2006 she no longer performs in public, and her passion for gambling machines caused her to fall into debt. In 2013, her only (adopted) son passed away, followed soon after by her husband. She spent Christmas 2016 all alone in a small room. Nobody gave her any gifts. She remembers her grandmother, who survived Auschwitz, and the many downturns and insults she has had to suffer. And yet she looks forward, with faith in a new project, new energy, hope…

The Last Hope of Věra Bílá

David Vondráček, Roman Šantúr
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
World Premiere
The People’s Militia
A look at a forgotten chapter in modern Czech history. The “armed fist of the working class,” formed from various factory guard units on the instigation of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, began operating under the guidance of the Central Union Committee in May 1945. After the communist takeover in 1948, the People’s Militia was sent upon orders of the Communist Party to “defend” the borders or to act against students, farmers, the church, demonstrators protesting the currency reform. Their actions against anti-regime gatherings in 1969 resulted in several deaths. They also acted brutally during the demonstrations in Prague in 1988 and 1989.

The People’s Militia

Jan Rousek
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere
The Russian Job
Lada, once the largest and best manufacturer of automobiles in the Soviet Union, is today a financial disaster. In comes a seasoned Swedish manager with the job of bringing back the company’s golden era. At a meeting in the town of Tolyatti, deep in the heart of Russia, everyone comes with their own vision of the future that they do not want to compromise. The Russian Job is the story of great plans and even greater absurdity.

The Russian Job

Petr Horký
Czech Republic / 2017 / 64 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
The Second Republic
The Second Republic was relatively short-lived. But those few months were one of the most dramatic and important periods in our history. In 1938 in Munich, all the ideals and values on which Czechoslovakia had been built came crumbling down. Czech society ceased to believe in democracy and began to admire authoritarian fascist governments. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled the occupied Sudetenland for what remained of the country, but nobody wanted to take them in. The media was subjected to censorship, and an aggressive strain of anti-Semitism appeared among the Czech population. And on top of it all, there were further territorial demands by Germany, Poland, and Hungary, and separatist tendencies in Slovakia.

The Second Republic

Aleš Koudela
Czech Republic / 2018 / 52 min.
section: Czech Television Documentaries
International Premiere