Jihlava 2017 Overview

The 21st Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival

October 24-29

Approximately 90 new and recent features, in addition to shorts and retrospective programming, make up this well-regarded Czech Republic nonfiction event.


The festival’s main competition, Opus Bonum, includes: Farahnaz Sharifi’s MISSING, an exploration of absence; Jean-Pierre Outers and Violaine de Villers’ CHINA, 87. THE OTHERS, which explores China through footage shot in the 1980s; and Raya Kim’s A LONG FAREWELL, in which residents of a Korean apartment building await its demolition.


First-time feature makers are spotlighted in First Lights, which includes: Gilles Lepore, Maciej Madracki, and Michal Madracki’s NOISELESS, DESERT EXTRAS, about a Moroccan city known for its film extras; Rèmi De Gaalon and Jonathan Le Fourn’s SAVAGERY, an exploration of a Brazilian city and its violence; and Sarah Vanhee’s THE MAKING OF JUSTICE, an experimental meditation on crime and jutsice.


Central and Eastern European works face off in Between the Seas, and include: Yurii Pupirin’s THIS IS WAR, BABY, a look at the experiences of Ukrainian soldiers; Mihai Gavril Dragolea’s PHOENIXXX, a portrait of Romanian porn webcam models; and Grigory Glyants’ BLIND CINEMA, following blind Russians as they sail to Finland.


Local work is featured in Czech Joy, including: Otakar Faifr’s ALONE, a portrait of a solitary theatre actress; Apolena Rychlíková’s THE LIMITS OF WORK, which profiles the worst-paid jobs in the Czech Republic; and Jana Počtová’s NON-PARENT, a look at various nontraditional parenting scenarios.


Among the remaining competitive strands are A Testimony on Knowledge, with work like Jonathan Millet’s TELL ME ABOUT THE STARS, about a 13-month Antarctic study; A Testimony on Politics, with Amir Yatziv’s ANOTHER PLANET, about attempts to computer model Auschwitz; and A Testimony on Nature, with Mathieu Roy’s THE DISPOSSESSED, a look at industry vs small-scale farmers.


Noncompetitive sections include the Special Events, which offer Yann l’Hénoret’s behind-the-scenes profile THE CANDIDATE: THE RISE OF EMMANUEL MACRON, and the latest in Helena Třeštíková’s longitudinal MARRIAGE STORIES series; One Year in America, with Will Francome’s THE PENALTY, which explores the death penalty, and Inderjit Kaur Khalsa’s WAR/PEACE, on the Weather Underground; the music-focused Siren Test, with Toby Clarkson’s LITTLE TSUNAMIS, an essay on sound artists; and Czech Television Documentaries, which include Hana Ludvíková-Muchová’s BYE BYE CHILDREN’S HOME, a longitudinal portrait of three young adults as they leave institutionalized care, and Veronika Jonasova’s MAMMA FROM PRISON, about motherhood behind prison bars.

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