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22nd 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.

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.

Aquarela

Viktor Kossakovsky
United States, Denmark, 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.

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. 

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.

El Pepe: A Supreme Life

Emir Kusturica
Serbia, Uruguay, Argentina / 2018 / 74 min.
section: Special Event
East European 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.

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.

how we live – messages to the family

Gustav Deutsch
Austria / 2017 / 107 min.
section: Special Event
East European 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.

Meeting Gorbachev

André Singer, Werner Herzog
Germany, United States, United Kingdom / 2018 / 90 min.
section: Special Event
East 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.

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.

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. 

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.

Report

Fan Wu
China / 2018 / 700 min.
section: Special Event
World 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.

Roi Soleil

Albert Serra
Portugal, Spain / 2018 / 61 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.

Stories of Passers Through

Koutaiba Al-Janabi
Hungary, United Kingdom, Iraq / 2018 / 67 min.
section: Special Event
European 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.

The Dead Nation

Radu Jude
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.

The Image Book

Jean-Luc Godard
France, Switzerland / 2018 / 84 min.
section: Special Event
Czech Premiere
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.

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.

Walked the Way Home

Eric Baudelaire
Italy, France / 2018 / 27 min.
section: Special Event
International Premiere