- 6.10.2014 9:46 -
Czech Documentary Is Teeming with Life!
The notion of documentary standing in the shadow of feature film is no longer true in Czech cinemas, at least as far as the interest of viewers is concerned. We have experienced it ourselves during the Czech Documentary Evening which has introduced the upcoming projects by Czech directors. What can we look forward to?
While Czech feature film keeps looking back at the past, filling cinema screens with reminiscences of 20th century history, Czech documentary focuses on the present and thus seems to represent the future of Czech cinema. Since 2005, Czech documentary and its makers have been granted independent space and sufficient attention by the Czech Film Center and the Institute of Documentary Film. For nine years, the latter has been informing film audiences about what is cooking in Czech documentary kitchens and what will be served in the following year. This was not any different on Monday, September 29, as the DAFilms team, in the role of a media partner, sank into the seats of a crowded cinema hall in Prague to watch 10 seven-minute presentations of Czech directors and producers.
For a second year, we have seen both film professionals and film fans among the audience who were lured by famous documentary names such as Filip Remunda and Vít Klusák as well as by the unconventional themes that will see the light of the cinema projector in 2015. The phenomenon of female graffiti was introduced by the only Czech female writer Sany in GIRL POWER; an excess of adrenaline was also not lacking in the portrait of the Czech mountain climber Radek Jaroš. The lack of faith in the Czech society became a starting point for an ironic view of Czech Republic‘s Polish neighbours in POLISH GOD; while the lack of judgment in sugar consumption became the breeding ground for the explorative essay SUGAR BLUES. The Czech film greats KAREL ZEMAN and LÍDA BAAROVÁ, whose lives have formed film history (in case of the former) and national history (in case of the latter), underwent the documentary treatment of young director Tomáš Hodan and internationally respected director Helena Třeštíková; whose retrospective we have offered you in the past weeks.
The motive of a social experiment dominated in the film GADJO; as a “member of the majority society,” the film’s director set out to live in a Roma ghetto for one year, capturing the local racial unrest and entering the intimate space of both sides of the conflict. A social experiment turned into a life-long anti-consumerist project is also followed in Eva Tomanová’s debut ALWAYS TOGETHER, whose protagonists, a married couple Petr and Simona, live with their nine children in a trailer without water and electricity. The documentary will have a gala premiere at the prestigious IDFA. A unique place in the society is also sought by TRIBES, alternative subcultures of the Czech society, captured in an eponymous documentary series by young directors who take the viewers on a tour from the rap scene to the neo-Nazi scene and back. A journey that goes “inwards” in the most literal sense of the word is made by the last presented film HEALING ME by director Tereza Tara, turning the search for a cure for a kidney disease into a parade of healing practices of both western and eastern medicine.
Don’t forget to download the list of upcoming Czech documentaries of 2014–2015 in the form of a Czech-English catalogue right into your computer!
How many sleeps until the rich variety of upcoming Czech documentaries make it to Czech cinemas? We cannot tell. However, the main news is that getting out of bed in the morning because of Czech documentary is worth it!