From October 24 to November 6, DAFilms.com presents a showcase of documentary essays screened at Jihlava IDFF. Don’t miss the greatest festival gems of the past twenty years!
Since the festival takes place in the Czech Republic, it is not surprising that films of local provenance have a strong representation in the showcase; not in terms of quantity but rather quality. The earliest of the documentaries, A New Hyperion, or Liberty, Equality, Fraternity directed by Karel Vachek, seems to be topical again. The complex collage with a philosophical-sociological depth captures the situation in Czechoslovakia before the election in 1990. One of the main roles is “played” by Václav Havel. The second earliest documentary film of Jihlava Manifesto is Fungus by Vít Janeček. Mushroom picking is a Czech national sport and it is thus not surprising that the director used these forest crops to interpret the universe. Documentarist Radek Tůma (1976), who likes to experiment with form and the division line between documentary and fiction, completes the trio of Czech documentaries by his experimental baroque western Plani di giardini ideali.
The showcase of international documentary films is naturally varied as well and the viewers can broaden their horizons both in the field of artistic perception and geographically. The Taste of Koumiz by Belgian director Xavier Christiaens is an inward empathetic journey through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The Stockholm-based artistic duo Lars Bergström (1962) and Mats Bigert (1965) scored at Jihlava IDFF exactly ten years ago with their stylized imaginative film Last Supper combining documentary footage of capital punishment with in-depth stylization, iconic installation and animation.
North America is the home of Fascination by [Mike Hoolboom](http://dafilms.com/director/189-mike-hoolboom/], a film based on archive footage and creative images by Colin Campbell (1942-2001), one of Canada’s remarkable video artists. The same continent also gave birth to Touch by Shelly Silver; a subjective film essay pointing out the constructed character of every artwork.
Ladies and gentlemen, the school of arthouse documentary is about to begin!
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