prog: 2070

Echoes of Jihlava

Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival is a unique event and the largest festival of creative documentary film in Central and Eastern Europe. Its 18th edition took place in October 2014 in Jihlava (Czech Republic). The festival showcases documentary films with socially significant themes and an innovative style and visual form. It is not only a meeting place where audiences can see current documentaries, but also an important crossroad for the documentary film trade. In addition to documentaries screened in competition sections – Opus Bonum (contemporary world documentaries), Between the Seas (Central and Eastern European films), Czech Joy (selection of Czech documentary films), Fascinations (experimental documentaries), First Lights (a cross-section of film debuts), Short Joy (a selection of the best European short docs) and other non-competition sections, the festival also organizes a unique programme for film professionals.
This year again, "Echoes of Jihlava" comes back to Brussels. Cinema Nova brings a selection of documentary films that were screened to thousands of spectators at this year’s edition of Jihlava.

Film + discussion


Petr Hátle, Lukáš Kokeš, Viera Čákanyová, Rozálie Kohoutová, Klára Tasovská, 2014, CZ-SK-PL, video, ov st ang, 100

Polish journalist Mariusz Szczygieł describes the Czech Republic, the subject of his book Gottland, as a country of horror, sadness, and grotesque that not even Kafka could have dreamt up. Inspired by his stories, five Czech documentarians made a film that explores the boundary of documentary and reenactment. Petr Hátle reconstructs an archive interview with Otakar Vávra and Lída Baarová, Viera Čákanyová uses animation, Lukáš Kokeš creates an analogy between the camera’s movement and an assembly line. An original, critical view of modern Czech history.
Five young Czech documentarians were invited to work on this film. In 2012, Lukáš Kokeš and Klára Tasovská’s The Fortress (2012) won in competition in Jihlava, Petr Hátle’s The Great Night (2013) won the next year. Rozálie Kohoutová (who is our guest on the opening night in Nova!) is the director of the feature-length documentary Kytlice, Zimmer Frei (2012) about a small Sudeten town, and Slovak director Viera Čakányová’s films include Alda (2009) about a woman with Alzheimer’s and Piranha (2008), a portrait of a tabloid journalist.

Meeting with Rozalie Kohoutová after the screening of 5th February

05.02 > 20:00   + 15.02 > 21:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

DJ set


To celebrate the launch of Echoes of Jihlava, in the foyer of the Nova Hallebarde will have us dancing to his magical disco and groovy house tunes. Oh yeah!

05.02 > 23:00

Eric Baudelaire, 2014, FR, DCP, ov st ang, 103

Maxim Gvinjia, the former minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway republic of Abkhazia – whose independence from Georgia has been recognized by only a few countries – is a friend of director Eric Baudelaire, who has been writing him from France since 2012. In the film, these letters are presented in text form and Gvinjia’s telephone replies are read in voiceovers. Gvinjia’s personal stories and his reflections upon his nation and its history are accompanied by footage of daily life in Abkhazia, for the most part short and simple snapshots taken by a professional hand-held camera, with no apparent connection to the letters’ contents.

06.02 > 20:00 + 12.02 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Ryuji Otsuka, 2014, CN, video, ov st ang, 88

In 2013, Beijing became the city with the most expensive rents in the world. The rising prices also affected the film’s director, Ryuji Otsuka, his wife and their small child. With the help of a handheld video camera and casual and hidden cameras, he has created a personal diary that begins at the moment when he must search for a new flat after his rent was suddenly and significantly raised. From this has emerged an immediate, spontaneous testimony about everyday situations that can change easily into acute conflicts – not only due to financial pressure, but also because of the ruthless approach of landlords and indifferent police.

+ Model Village

Hayoun Kwon, 2014, FR, DCP, ov st fr, 10

This studio experiment is a fictional excursion to Kijong-Dong, the city of spirits in the North Korean demilitarized zone, to which the director was refused entry. The town, built in 1950, is a Potemkin village, an empty film set. Here it is also depicted using white models with transparent models of empty houses.

06.02 > 22:00 + 19.02 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Stanisław Mucha, 2014, DE, video, ov st ang, 98

A remarkable travelogue from a trip around the Black Sea: along its shores, lined by the boundaries of six states, and through bizarre seaside resorts. More than the tourist industry or political problems, the film focuses on solitary statues, decaying architectural monuments, and the personal stories of the local people. From each stop on their journey, the filmmakers send a series of stylized video postcards with the playfulness of staged scenes, set against the backdrop of the sea. In this cinematic answer to Ovid’s Black Sea lamentations, that ancient text receives new qualities that tell us about a place that is accursedly beautiful but also beautifully cursed.

08.02 > 19:00 + 14.02 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Göran Hugo Olsson, 2014, SE-US-DK-FI, DCP, ov st ang, 85

Frantz Fanon (1925–1961) was an influential political thinker whose opinions influenced the anti-colonialist movement in Africa, especially in Algeria, where he worked as a psychiatrist during the war for independence from France. The title of the Swedish filmmaker’s documentary refers to the first chapter of Fanon’s celebrated – and in its day, banned in France – book The Wretched of the Earth, which defended the rights of colonized Africans. Found footage from the French-Algerian War, shocking in places, features commentary by American singer Lauren Hill, who recites passages from Fanon’s book, whose topics and ideas are still relevant to the current situation even today.

+ Smile and the World Will Smile Back

Yoav Gross, Ehab Tarabieh, Al-Haddad Family, 2014, IL-PS, video, ov st ang, 20

This raw, handheld recording of Israeli soldiers’ legal but unwelcome nighttime visit to a Palestinian household grew out of a project by the B’Tselem center, which gave volunteers in the West Bank cameras. Armed with the legal right to film, we see what the Israelis do during their searches and what absurd orders the Palestinians must obey. There’s more than one way to skin a cat... but no one’s laughing.

08.02 > 21:00 + 20.02 > 20:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Film + discussion

Into the Clouds We Gaze

Martin Dušek, 2014, CZ, video, ov st ang, 66

A melancholy portrait of a fan of auto tuning, who – when not behind the wheel of his home-tuned but slowly decaying car – stumbles aimlessly through life. An exploration of the main protagonist’s barren landscape of relationships and of the barrenness of northern Bohemia, where the story takes place. Both these “vacuums” are filled at least temporarily by the roar of engines – heavenly music for Ráďa. Despite an extreme observational format, the filmmaker works with a language full of metaphors that encourage reflection even when the viewer least expects it: in a parking lot in the middle of a loud tuning meet.

+ Mat Goc

Dužan Duong, 2014, VN-CZ, video, ov st ang, 19

How do the children of Vietnamese parents view Vietnam – those who speak better Czech than Vietnamese and who feel more in touch with Western culture than with that of their parents? This film tries to answer such questions by combining documentary scenes with elements of acting and a clear dramatic arc. For one of two brothers, a forced journey to Vietnam becomes an opportunity to better understand his origins, and thus his own parents and even himself. Czech viewers get a chance to see behind the wall of uniform cultural stereotypes and breathe life-giving movement into the

12.02 > 20:00 + 21.02 > 21:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Shin’Ichi Miyakawa, 2013, JP, super8 > video, ov st ang, 44

A hand with a camera emerges from a lake. This surreal scene is like a period in the personal correspondence between two Japanese filmmakers. In the director’s mind, the faded 8mm footage depicts artifacts that evoke phantoms of the past. But besides aimless wanderings through the streets of his hometown, a collection of photographs of a women’s wrestling team, or the handmade mask of Mexican superhero El Santa, the camera also shows its own image. In this experimental correspondence written with a camera instead of a pen, the central theme is one of mirrors and reflections representing the connection between subject and object, life and film.

+ Ginza Strip

Richard Tuohy, 2014, AU, no dial, 9

This documentary look at Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood, one of the world’s most luxurious shopping districts, has been made using the chromaflex process that the director himself helped to develop. In this color hand processing technique, selected portions of the image can be developed as positive colors, others left as negative, and others can be black-and-white.

+ Study of Synchrony

Patrick Bergeron, 2014, CA, video, no dial, 3

This conceptual reinterpretation of classic avantgarde film is based on a decomposition of Norman McLaren’s Synchromy (1971). The original scenes were separated into 11 columns, each with its own soundtrack created using special software. In a similar manner, these soundtracks then formed the foundation for new images.

13.02 > 20:00 + 20.02 > 22:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Philip Hoffman, 2014, CA, ov ang , 46

Self-appointed family chronicler Philip Hoffman documents his father’s aging process. Images of this once-vital man as captured in the director’s amateur images are confronted by scenes of a sick old man slowly awaiting death at the family cottage by the lake. This experimental film combines intimate home videos (ranging from the director’s childhood all the way to the present as he cares for his incapacitated father) with unique impressions from the surrounding countryside that describe the transience of human life. Sounds of nature, such as water splashing on the lake’s surface or birdcalls, underscore the grainy wordless images.

Meeting with Philip Hoffman after the screening of 13th February

13.02 > 22:00 + 22.02 > 21:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Phillip Warnell, 2014, UK-US-BE, DCP, ov st fr, 71

Despite the outrage and indignation of his fellow New Yorkers, Antoine Yates and his animal friends – a 250-kilo Bengal tiger and a two-meter-long alligator – spent several years living together in his Harlem flat. Warnell’s investigative film essay on the relationship between humanity and animality takes Yates’s statements from the time when the public learned of his cohabiting with dangerous animals, and juxtaposes them with poetic footage of the predators moving freely around his flat. The director is less interested in the sensational case from 2003 than in exploring more universal and intimate aspects of people’s communication with animals, and their behavior in a domesticated setting.

+ Drug

Miko Revereza, 2013, US, super8 > video, 8

This personal 8mm film looks at and reads Los Angeles and symbols of American popular culture through the eyes of a Filipino immigrant. Through navigational directions, by reciting a list of missing things, or by varying key themes, the film makes visible the gap between the attributes and expressions of diverse cultural identities.

Meeting with Phillip Warnell after the screening of 14h February

14.02 > 19:00   + 22.02 > 19:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

Film + discussion

The Chimney

Laila Pakalnina, 2013, LT, DCP, ov st ang, 54

In a cluster of houses outside town, in the shadow of an old chimney, there live several light-haired girls. This light portrait of a unique children’s microcosm consists of scenes from daily life, in which most of the time is spent exploring one’s surroundings, playing, and asking curious questions on various subjects. With her extreme sense for detail, the director convincingly captures the poetry of the everyday. The result is a fresh and humorous look at a world surrounded by vegetation, wrecked cars, and puddles that is ruled by spontaneity, playfulness and the immediacy of children’s logic.

+ Hacked Circuit

Deborah Stratman, 2014, US, DCP, ov st ang, 15

Shot in one take, with the camera moving inside and outside of a sound studio and with audio fragments from Francis F. Coppola’s 1974 film The Conversation and other cinematic references, the film explores the violation of privacy by political power and offers a sophisticated meditation upon paranoia, the limits of privacy, and the power inherent in the creation of illusions.

Meeting with Laila Pakalnina after the screening of 15th February

15.02 > 19:00   + 21.02 > 19:00
5€ / 3,5€ Combi 2 films > 7,5€ / 6€

The Atelier Automatique team are back with their screen printing photo booth from Prague. Strike a pose for a souvenir postcard, throughout the second week of the Echoes of Jihlava festival!

lang: en
id_rubrique: 2073
prog: 2070
pos: aval