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22nd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

ji-hlava dok cdf

Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses

Recent Lebanese film consists of masterworks of the essay format that place their reflections on history and memory into the folds and spaces of their meditative cinematic testimonies.

film database

At Last, a Tragedy
The filmmaker has created a slowly flowing and melancholy tale of an all-encompassing sense of emptiness, layered in collage-like images of Damascus and Beirut, old VHS videos from her childhood, and personal moments from the present day, and voyeuristically shows us a woman’s text messages with her close friend.

At Last, a Tragedy

Maya Shurbaji
Syria / 2017 / 15 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
East European Premiere
Erased, Ascent of the Invisible
During the Lebanese civil war, thousands of people disappeared without a trace. All that remains are faded photographs and official records that claim that they are still alive. Using static shots and animations, this slow-paced documentary suggests history as a the coexistence of the living with those who are absent.

Erased, Ascent of the Invisible

Ghassan Halwani
Lebanon / 2018 / 76 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
East European Premiere
Chinese Ink
A film palimpsest in which words as well as images and emotions are written and rewritten on a cinematic parchment. A heartfelt commentary on the troubled history of Lebanon in verses composed personally by the director as well as Anna Achmatov, Paul Celan, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Chinese Ink

Ghassan Salhab
Lebanon / 2016 / 55 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
Czech Premiere
Linceul
Inspired by an article by Roger Salardenne about nudist experiments in Germany in the late 1920s, Sélim Mourad presents five naked people who confine themselves inside a house. A mixture of performance art and documentary essay, the film explores the representation of the human body in film while tearing down traditional ideas of beauty.

Linceul

Selim Mourad
Lebanon / 2018 / 36 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
East European Premiere
Resurrection
After two years in war-torn Syria, a nameless filmmaker returns to Lebanon to complete his film. In the end, however, he is forced into an equally fateful act as thousands of Syrian refugees. The film’s claustrophobic feel is further enhanced by metaphoric scenes based on real figures from modern Lebanese history.

Resurrection

Orwa Mokdad
Syria, Lebanon / 2018 / 18 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
East European Premiere
RIOT: 3 Movements
 Filmed in three slowly intensifying acts amidst a mob of angry protestors on the streets of Lebanon, and making use of a shaky handheld camera, the film captures the turbulent street protests against the local government’s passive approach to a long-standing garbage crisis in the summer of 2015, when both cities and countryside were polluted with trash. 

RIOT: 3 Movements

Rania Stephan
United Arab Emirates, Lebanon / 2017 / 17 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
East European Premiere
Spring – a River & the Raging River
In this purely observant episode, the audience will have a chance to explore life at the sacred Ganges River considered to be in the goddess and the mother of all rivers in the Indian Vedas.  Small stories taking place on the river may give us an insight into the everyday life of India in different seasons.

Spring – a River & the Raging River

Rola Shamas
India, Lebanon / 2017 / 420 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
World Premiere
Summer 2006
Thirteen-year-old Farah filmed a bomb as it hit Beirut’s airport. Her father filmed the years of fighting in Lebanon every day as a war reporter. Images of the city at war are mixed with images of household peace from Farah’s childhood. This collage, created from footage shot by father and daughter, reveals the unbearable length of a conflict that affected two generations.  

Summer 2006

Farah Abou Kharroub
Lebanon, Czech Republic / 2018 / 8 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
World Premiere
The Disappearance of Goya
How many wars history brought? And it is not the same massacre all the time? A character who may or may not be Francisco Goya guides the viewers through a staged essay on war and those who have not lived through it. A film bringing a testimony on relativity of memory, telling a story of the 1982 Mountain War in Lebanon, with a thought-provoking artificial take on camera composition. 

The Disappearance of Goya

Toni Geitani
Lebanon / 2018 / 56 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
East European Premiere
This Little Father Obsession
Accompanied by his father, the film’s main protagonist and director sets out in search of a distant relative. But all the filmmaker sees in his future is the end: He is infertile and gay, the last member of his family’s youngest generation, and their family home in Beirut is slated for demolition. The film records the various ways he and the people around him deal with this situation.

This Little Father Obsession

Selim Mourad
Lebanon / 2016 / 104 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
Czech Premiere
Tshweesh
This acted documentary tells the story of Beirut as a city with its own physical memory, carried along the waves of a television broadcast of a football match and written into the buildings from various eras. A mosaic of fleeting episodes from the streets and rooftops of a place that has become stuck in its own time.

Tshweesh

Feyrouz Serhal
Qatar, Spain, Germany, Lebanon / 2017 / 26 min.
section: Lebanon: Between Ashes and Roses
Czech Premiere