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10 Years of Discovering the Best Documentaries for You



We are bringing you the best of 2015!

best_of_2015

At the very end of 2015, we present a selection of films that you liked the most. You can watch them for free until Sunday, January 3. Make time for quality documentaries during Christmas and the New Year!


We present remarkable films by filmmakers such as Victor Kossakovsky, Mike Hoolboom, Peter Mettler, Sergei Loznitsa, Åsa Sandzén and others, films from almost all continents as well as master classes by leading filmmakers such as Peter Tscherkassky (Outer Space, Instruction for a Light and Sound Machine) and Werner Herzog (e.g. Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Fitzcarraldo, Woyzeck, Grizzly Man and others).

The civil war in Syria has reduced the local inhabitants to a state of permanent uncertainty. Should they stay or go? Haunted follows nine protagonists who must be constantly ready to suddenly leave their homes. With her debut film, Syrian director Liwaa Yazji has left an indelible mark on the map of contemporary documentary.

Imitations of Life is a film by experimental icon Mike Hoolboom; a meta-film providing an original commentary on film history. Imitation of Life consists of ten chapters, each characterized by a distinctive intonation and unified cinematic style.

Serbian-British director Aleksandar Nikolić made an impressive film Serbian Lawyer about the defense attorney of Radovan Karadžić and Slobodan Milošević. Screened at Jihlava IDFF among others, this psychological probe tells of the personal situation of the lawyer as well as our present.

An incredible trial of an appallingly ordinary man is captured in The Specialist, a Portrait of a Modern Criminal. Drawn entirely on the 350 hours of rare footage recorded during the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961 in Jerusalem, this film about obedience and responsibility is the portrait of an expert in problem resolving, a modern criminal. The film is inspired by the controversial book by Hannah Arendt : "Eichmann in Jerusalem, report on the banality of evil".

Victor Kossakovsky followed in the footsteps of antipodes, i.e. the inhabitants of opposite poles of the earth. The master of poetical documentary made his film Vivan las Antipodas! at Hawai, Lake Baikal, in New Zealand and Argentine, creating a visually impressive image of landscape and man and discovering fascinating and humorous parallels between (literally) opposite civilization and environmental elements.

Peter Mettler has pushed the possibilities of film in The End of Time. Capturing Swiss scientists exploring time in the 27-kilometre long particle collider, lava at Hawai Islands as well as a funeral rite near the place of Buddha’s enlightenment, the film reflects on the theme of the human perception of time.

In the words of its makers, Still Born is an animated documentary about loss, anger and sorrow. A cardiac malformation left the soon-to-be parents with a terrible choice. Variety has called Still Born a milestone of modern animation and praised it in a review for the personal tone of its narrative as well as for its inspiration by Jan Švankmajer and Bill Plympton. The film has been awarded by the jury of DOK Leipzig and other festivals.

Summer of Goliath is a documentary/fiction hybrid that narrates various stories of the people of the town of Huilotepec in rural Mexico.

Foreign Parts discovers a strange community in the spirit of the best traditions of American documentary. A hidden enclave in the shadow of the New York Mets' new stadium, the neighborhood of Willets Point is an industrial zone fated for demolition. Filled with scrapyards and auto salvage shops, lacking sidewalks or sewage lines, the area seems ripe for urban development.

In her film Naked Island, Tiha K. Gudac delves into what happened to her grandfather during the four years when he went missing. He never revealed it to anyone; speaking about the past was forbidden in the family for sixty years. Only after the fall of communism in Yugoslavia did it become clear that he was imprisoned in a gulag at the Naked Island.

Propaganda follows the Chilean presidential campaign of 2013 in the midst of one of the greatest social unrests in recent years. It proposes a visual journey through the most singular corners of political campaigns, inviting reflection on the complex relationship between politicians and citizens through the eyes of several filmmakers in the country.

One of the Czech representatives in the selection is Experience of an Exorcist, a monologue of Catholic priest Vojtěch Kodet recounting his experiences with souls in the clutches of evil forces. Frequently quoting from the writings of Raul Salvucci, the film is based on a sermon focused exclusively on the taboo subject of exorcism.

In an unusually stark and yet cinematic style, Martin Dušek’s Into the Clouds We Gaze captures the existential feeling of a generation of young people from the north of the Czech Republic as well as from all of contemporary Europe. Ráďa, the film’s protagonist from Northern Bohemia, lives for car tuning. His micro-world is lined with white plush, lit by green diodes and encouraged by roaring exhaust pipes. However, when Ráďa leaves his world, he is confronted both by the harsh reality and by his own limitations.

In the long, almost entirely static takes of the film named simply Maidan, Sergei Loznitsa has captured the revolutionary events in Ukraine. Maidan has become the home of hundreds of thousands of common Ukrainians deciding about the future course of the country. Sergei Loznitsa has made a pure documentary account full of intensive images.


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Films for the event

Imitations_of_Life_1

Imitations of Life

Imitations of Life (Orig.) / 2003 / Canada / 75 min

Even in this film Mike Hoolboom works with the history of film, with material that is not untangled from interpretations...

Detail…

Masterclass_Tscherkassky

Masterclass - Peter Tscherkassky

Masterclass - Peter Tscherkassky (Orig.) / 2014 / Austria, Czech Republic / 82 min

Master Class of Peter Tscherkassky starts with the screening of Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine, premiered at Cannes IFF as part of the independent section, Quinzaine des réalisateurs. The Master Class itself focuses on an analysis of this film...

Detail…

Haunted_1

Haunted

Maskoon (Orig.) / 2014 / Syria / 113 min

In her feature documentary Syrian director Liwaa Yazji explores what it means to set off in a war. She meets friends and people previously unknown to her at their homes. Domiciles where they live now or where they yet live. Spaces that turned into a sought-after commodity.

Detail…

Foreign_Parts_1

Foreign Parts

Foreign Parts (Orig.) / 2010 / France, United States / 80 min

A hidden enclave in the shadow of the New York Mets' new stadium, the neighborhood of Willets Point is an industrial zone fated for demolition. Filled with scrapyards and auto salvage shops, lacking sidewalks or sewage lines, the area seems ripe for urban development. But Foreign Parts discovers a strange community where wrecks, refuse and recycling form a thriving commerce...

Detail…

Naked_Island_1

Naked Island

Naked Island (Orig.) / 2014 / Croatia / 76 min

Some sixty years ago, a man went missing for four years. He returned back a changed man carrying along a painful secret. He later built his family’s life around this unspoken of secret. Talking about the past was forbidden in the family...

Detail…

K_oblakum_vzhlizime_1

Into the Clouds We Gaze

K oblakům vzhlížíme (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 66 min

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...

Detail…

Vivan_Las_Antipodas_CS_1

¡Vivan las Antipodas! / CS version

¡Vivan las Antipodas! / CS version (Orig.) / 2011 / Argentina, Chile, Germany, Netherlands / 104 min

What would be the shortest route between Entre Rios in Argentina and the Chinese metropolis Shanghai? Simply a straight line through the center of the earth, since the two places are antipodes: they are located diametrically opposite to each other on the earth's surface...

Detail…

Antipodas_1

¡Vivan las Antipodas! / EN version

¡Vivan las Antipodas! / EN version (Orig.) / 2011 / Argentina, Chile, Germany, Netherlands / 104 min

What would be the shortest route between Entre Rios in Argentina and the Chinese metropolis Shanghai? Simply a straight line through the center of the earth, since the two places are antipodes: they are located diametrically opposite to each other on the earth's surface...

Detail…

Propaganda_1

Propaganda

Propaganda (Orig.) / 2014 / Chile / 61 min

Propaganda is a follow up to the Chilean presidential campaign of 2013, in the midst of one of the major social unrest in recent years...

Detail…

Maidan_1

Maidan

Maidan (Orig.) / 2014 / Netherlands, Ukraine / 128 min

MAIDAN chronicles the civil uprising against the regime of president Yanukovych that took place in Kiev (Ukraine) in the winter of 2013/14. The film follows the progress of the revolution: from peaceful rallies, half a million strong, in the Maidan square, to the bloody street battles between protestors and riot police. MAIDAN is a portrait of an awakening nation, rediscovering its identity.

Detail…

The_End_of_Time_1

The End of Time

The End of Time (Orig.) / 2012 / Canada, Switzerland / 109 min

THE END OF TIME, at once personal, rigorous and visionary, Peter Mettler has crafted a film as compelling and magnificent as its subject.

Detail…

THE_SPECIALIST_1

THE SPECIALIST, Portrait of a Modern Criminal

THE SPECIALIST, Portrait of a Modern Criminal (Orig.) / 1999 / Israel / 128 min

The incredible trial of an appallingly ordinary man. Drawn entirely on the 350 hours of rare footage recorded during the trial of Adolf Eichmann, in 1961, in Jerusalem, this film about obedience and responsibility is the portrait of an expert in problems resolving, a modern criminal. The film is inspired from the controversial book by Hannah Arendt : "Eichmann in Jerusalem, report on the banality of evil".

Detail…

Werner_Herzog_Masterclass_1

Docs Against Gravity presents: Masterclass of Werner Herzog

Docs Against Gravity presents: Masterclass of Werner Herzog (Orig.) / 2010 / Poland / 163 min

A living legend of feature and documentary film, Werner Herzog. Author of more than 50 films, a director who throughout his life has posed questions about limits that nature and human impose on each other. He then overcomes these limits as a filmmaker and presents on-screen what he finds on the other side.

Detail…

Zkusenost_exorcisty_1

Experience of an Exorcist

Zkušenost exorcisty (Orig.) / 2011 / Czech Republic / 17 min

The film is a monolog in which Catholic priest Vojtěch Kodet recounts his experiences with souls in the clutches of evil forces...

Detail…

Verano_de_Goliat_1

Summer of Goliath

Verano de Goliat (Orig.) / 2011 / Mexico / 78 min

Summer of Goliath is a documentary/fiction hybrid that narrates various stories of the people of the town of Huilotepec in rural Mexico...

Detail…

still_born_1

Still Born

Still Born (Orig.) / 2014 / Sweden / 9 min

A pregnant soon-to-be mother is forced to choose whether her beloved child should try to live or not with a cardiac malformation. Feelings of anger, powerlessness and immense grief overwhelm her.

Detail…



News

Unique films at FAMUFEST

Unique films at FAMUFEST

The 33rd edition of FAMUFEST, a competition display of films made by students of Prague’s FAMU, will be held on November 23 to 27 at Prague’s Letná District. Like in the past year, it will take place at Bio Oko, plus at the new venues of Studio Hrdinů and Café Jedna.

Read more…

- 22.11.2016 -

Cosmopolitan DOK Leipzig

Cosmopolitan DOK Leipzig

Each edition of this festival is great; and even if it may seem impossible, even better than the past one.

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- 7.11.2016 -

20th Jihlava IDFF is worth visiting

20th Jihlava IDFF is worth visiting

From October 25 to 30, the 20th edition of the largest celebration of documentary film in Central and Eastern Europe is held in Jihlava, Czech Republic. Until November 6, the festival continues online at DAFilms.com.

Read more…

- 24.10.2016 -

More news…