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10 Years of Discovering the Best Documentaries for You



The Best of Dafilms

best_of_2016

Until the end of the year, you can spend the long winter evenings by watching the best and most popular documentary films presented on our portal during the year. In collaboration with their makers, we decided to offer some of them for free as a present. With love from DAF to you!


Many people (including viewers, distributors and documentary filmmakers) can tell the end of the year by top hits of office entertainment such as the annual report, balancing of the books, sales overviews and viewer ratings. If you’re into that kind of thing, just log in our admin and you will get a voucher for some kind of didactic film on psychiatric research. However, numbers are very important to us at DAFilms! First of all, the hidden emotional charge of numerical values has something to it. When the numbers are high, we’re jumping for joy; when they’re low, they stir a whole range of completely opposite emotions. The average goes somehow unacknowledged – just like anything that’s average. Sometimes, numbers take us by surprise (in a pleasant way). But our work is not only about numbers but also about values that cannot be quantified.

We give a lot of energy into making films crowned with festival laurels available in our online documentary cinema. We also put a great effort into presenting highly arthouse and experimental films. We’re not expecting these two investments to bring the same number of viewers but we believe that there is something unique about the two types of films that they can pass on. We believe that a debut film does not have to be 100% perfect but if the filmmaker has something to say, he or she will master the film craft with the next film; hopefully also thanks to the support of Doc Alliance. People sometimes ask us if we’ve really seen all those 1500+ films that we present. Honestly, we have seen them; and we stand by them for various reasons.

But back to numbers; they are also helpful to us because now we know which films you loved the most in the past year. So we prepared their “super gala show.”

Have a great documentary holiday!


Recommend this event

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...

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Ceska_cesta_1

The Czech Way

Česká cesta (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic, Slovakia / 92 min

Feature documentary film The Czech Way tells a story of Czechoslovak economic transformation of the 90s. This transformation took place in the period, when the Czech and Slovak nationhood were established, so it was presented as the key to the transformation of totalitarian society into a democratic one, and on the other side, publicly understood mainly as a process of wealth redistribution from the stay to the people...

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nebezpecny_svet_rajka_dolecka_1

The Dangerous World of Doctor Doleček

Nebezpečný svět Rajka Dolečka (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 75 min

Kristýna Bartošová has approached the genre of documentary film portraits as a battlefield. This director, who has Bosnian roots, chose to film the story of the Czech doctor Rajko Doleček, who is a very enthusiastic defender of Ratko Mladić, the Serbian general accused of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia...

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Long_Story_Short_1

Long Story Short

Long Story Short (Orig.) / 2016 / United States / 45 min

In Long Story Short, over 100 people at homeless shelters, food banks, adult literacy programs, and job training centers in Los Angeles and the Bay Area in Northern California discuss their experiences of poverty – why they are poor, how it feels, and what they think should be done. Numerous interviews are stitched together to form a polyphonic account of poverty from the inside...

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The_Event_1

The Event

Sobytie (Orig.) / 2015 / Belgium, Netherlands / 73 min

In August 1991 a failed coup d'état attempt (known as Putsch) led by a group of hard-core communists in Moscow, ended the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. The USSR collapsed soon after, and the tricolour of the sovereign Russian Federation flew over Kremlin...

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in comparison

In Comparison

Zum Vergleich (Orig.) / 2009 / Austria, Germany / 62 min

Harun Farocki tracks the individual steps in the manufacture and use of bricks in Africa, India and Europe, comparing different traditions. Instead of using a commentary, he allows the images to speak, working with the color, movement and sound of bricks, which symbolize the basic building block of social relationships and economic structures.

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Zakon_Helena_1

Helena's Law

Zákon Helena (Orig.) / 2016 / Czech Republic / 77 min

Documentary filmmaker Petra Nesvačilová’s study of the famous “Berdych Gang” focuses on police officer Helena Kahnová, but she also interviews other actors in the case, including the accused and the convicted. The resulting film is a mosaic that says less about the case or its background than it does about the people who exist on the edge of the law, and about their thoughts and motivations...

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To_Be_Framed_1

To Be Framed (CS version)

To Be Framed (CS version) (Orig.) / 2016 / Czech Republic / 8 min

Recent history dies out in the overgrown landscape of a former German military base where children are playing. Through performances by young protagonists and disturbing commentary that suggests that the innocence of the images isn’t what it appears to be, the film reflects on the phenomenon of violence and encourages us to learn from the past.

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To_Be_Framed

To Be Framed (EN version)

To Be Framed (EN version) (Orig.) / 2016 / Czech Republic / 8 min

Recent history dies out in the overgrown landscape of a former German military base where children are playing. Through performances by young protagonists and disturbing commentary that suggests that the innocence of the images isn’t what it appears to be, the film reflects on the phenomenon of violence and encourages us to learn from the past.

Detail…

Navod_k_pouziti_Jiriho_Kolare_1

Instructions for Use of Jiří Kolář

Návod k použití Jiřího Koláře (Orig.) / 2016 / Czech Republic / 130 min

Roman Štětina returns to the subject of radio in a documentary project created in collaboration with radio director Miroslav Buriánek. In documenting Buriánek and the members of the KLAS theater ensemble as they prepare a radio adaptation of Kolář’s poetry collection Instructions for Use, Štětina tries to explore radio directing as a distinctive but hidden artistic act...

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De_Potentia_Dei_1

De Potentia Dei (Czech version)

De Potentia Dei (česká verze) (Orig.) / 2016 / Czech Republic / 66 min

Potentia dei is a notion difficult to translate, but possible to explain. The same goes for a film essay by Ondřej Vavrečka, with signs and information, their interpretation and secrets as its main theme. The collage-like film uses sharp audiovisual contrasts to make people think.

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Home_1

Home

Home (Orig.) / 2015 / Lebanon, Syria / 70 min

Syria. A body undulating in the wind, in the evening light, a graceful and fragile silhouette of a dancer fi lmed close to the skin. Such is what is stated, in reverse, in the project of this fi rst fi lm by Rafat Alzakout: beauty and the work of art as a guide for a fi lm shot in the turmoil of civil war while bodies become destroyed fl esh. We follow a small group of men including Ahmad the dancer, Taj the art teacher and former lieutenant, without forgetting, unseen but dialoguing with them, Alzakout...

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Psaume_1

Psalm

Psaume (Orig.) / 2015 / Belgium, France / 47 min

In Psalm, the location is not specified apart from contemporary indicators of sub-Saharan Africa. At the start, from the white background of the screen and as if emerging from an earthy dust, a small cart pulled by a donkey accompanied by ghostly fi gures arrives at a well. Drinking, fussing with a can, is their fi rst action and it is slow, long, necessary and primordial. Then they leave...

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El_Sicario_1

El Sicario - Room 164

El Sicario - Room 164 (Orig.) / 2010 / France, Italy / 81 min

A Juarez hit man speaks : el sicario ROOM 164 is an eighty-minute documentary about a hit man. He has killed hundreds of people, is an expert in torture and kidnapping, and for many years was a commander of the state police in Chihuahua.

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Suitcase_of_love_and_shame_1

Suitcase of Love and Shame

Suitcase of Love and Shame (Orig.) / 2013 / United States / 70 min

This 1960’s love story is reconstructed from 60 hours of audiotape purchased on eBay. The recordings, equally tender, erotic, and pathetic, chronicle the details of an adulterous affair.

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Quantum_1

Quantum

Quantum (Orig.) / 2015 / Germany, Italy / 8 min

A town observed from the hill facing it is treated as an architectural model illuminated by the lights of a home interior. The sounds cancel the distance of the shot, amplifying the details of places and actions lit up by beams of light...

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Mallory_1

Mallory

Mallory (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 97 min

After unique time-lapse documentaries Marcela, René and Katka, Helena Třeštíková is coming with a new film in which she follows her main protagonist Mallory for 13 years. Mallory is determined to return to a normal life after many difficult mishaps...

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Opri_zebrik_o_nebe_1

Lean a Ladder Against Heaven / CS version

Opři žebřík o nebe / česká verze (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 101 min

Marian Kuffa is a priest in a small village of Zakovce in Slovakia. At his presbytery he cares for the homeless, former prisoners, boys and girls from orphanages, the handicapped and abused mothers with children. Altogether, the priest has hosted almost two hundred people. Some die, some are born, people come and go...

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Opri_zebrik_o_nebe_EN_1

Lean a Ladder Against Heaven / EN version

Opři žebřík o nebe / anglická verze (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 101 min

Marian Kuffa is a priest in a small village of Zakovce in Slovakia. At his presbytery he cares for the homeless, former prisoners, boys and girls from orphanages, the handicapped and abused mothers with children. Altogether, the priest has hosted almost two hundred people. Some die, some are born, people come and go...

Detail…

Cesta_vzhuru_1

Climbing Higher

Cesta vzhůru (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic, Slovakia / 99 min

Radek Jaroš in a film about facing challenges wherever they may be. Climbing Higher tells a story of rugged determination and of overcoming human limits. Radek Jaroš is the first Czech and only the 15th person in the world to have completed the Crown of the Himalayas, the world’s 14 tallest peaks...

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Tmar_a_jeho_rod_1

Obscurantist and His Lineage or The Pyramids' Tearful Valleys

Tmář a jeho rod aneb Slzavé údolí pyramid (Orig.) / 2011 / Czech Republic / 209 min

Karel Vachek’s latest documentary essay deals with the fine line between an internal belief in God and institutionalized religion. At the same time it brings up the need for a healthy sense of skepticism and the benefit of not believing in anything that advertises itself as certain.

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the_visit_1

The Visit

The Visit (Orig.) / 2015 / Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway / 83 min

First contact with an alien civilization drives the imagination of many dreamers and sci-fi authors. At the same time, however, such an event would raise numerous biological, cultural, legal, and other dilemmas. This documentary sci-fi fantasy consists of interviews with experts and of hypnotic visions of the moment of the first encounter.

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Pawel_i_Wawel_1

Pawel and Wawel

Pawel i Wawel (Orig.) / 2014 / Austria, Poland / 63 min

Pawel and Wawel gathers unique images and sounds from a journey through Iceland that position themselves between documentary gesture and performative strategy. The starting point and anchor of this trans-genre diary film, road movie, documentary film project, is the film festival initiated by Krzystof Kaczmarek “What`s the difference between Pawel and Wawel,” which more or less unsuccessfully tours the island with Polish classics.

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De_Potentia_Dei_main

De Potentia Dei (English version)

De Potentia Dei (English version) (Orig.) / 2016 / Czech Republic / 66 min

Potentia dei is a notion difficult to translate, but possible to explain. The same goes for a film essay by Ondřej Vavrečka, with signs and information, their interpretation and secrets as its main theme. The collage-like film uses sharp audiovisual contrasts to make people think.

Detail…



News

GULI SILBERSTEIN PRESENTS

GULI SILBERSTEIN PRESENTS

“My work has two strands: the first one deals with direct political images of violence, aggression and protest, mostly in Israeli-Palestinian context. It’s critique of news media, researching the complex, both realistic and surrealistic aspects of these images. The second strand of videos is more abstract and universal, dealing with cognitive, environmental and existential issues,” says the director about his works.

Read more…

- 16.1.2017 -

Charter 77

Charter 77

We commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of Charter 77 by presenting documentary profiles of the signatories to this important initiative of anti-communist resistance. Learn more about the context of this historical event by means of an authentic film experience.

Read more…

- 10.1.2017 -

Merry and Cinematic Christmas from DAFilms!

Merry and Cinematic Christmas from DAFilms!

A bonus subscription to DAFilms.com is a present you will never get tired of thanks to its diversity. You can get it for your close ones or just for yourself.

Read more…

- 14.12.2016 -

More news…