What is new in February?
Since there is never enough love, there is no need to store it away till May; since a loving embrace gives you more warmth than a glass of mulled wine, the portal has prepared a special “Valentine Stimulus” for its visitors. From February 14, you can stream love for a whole week for free. The collection of films about various kinds of this gentle affection includes Blind Loves, a successful Slovak film by Juraj Lehotský, holder of the prestigious Art Cinema Award at Cannes 2008. One of the first Czech film news to be presented at the portal is Home by Margareta Hrůza, a Czech filmmaker who already appeared at the portal in the summer in the thematic section of family therapeutic films.
An Audience Award at the 2009 Jihlava IDFF; an award for the Best Czech Documentary of the Decade a year later; a lot of satisfied spectators and bikers; an angry mayor. That, too, makes a good advert for Auto*mat, the latest finished film by Martin Mareček. For an interview with the filmmaker about the making of his new project in Africa, go to.
The third Czech film to score at the February news was made by documentarist and writer Martin Ryšavý, returning to the current programme with his film The Land of Dreams. Awarded the Pavel Koutecký Award in 2010, the film captures the complex situation of the Vietnamese population living (often illegally) in the Czech Republic, caused by the economic crisis. Besides observing the individual stories, the film outlines real possibilities of solving the situation.
The ways in which Czech job agencies deal with Vietnamese workers are often shocking for their ruthlessness and brutality. The temptation to exploit those who are weak and poor has proved as extremely strong, especially in times of the economic crisis of today. The fact that contemporary slave trade does exist, representing a real problem of the globalized society of today, is reminded by the film Vous etes servis/ You´re served by Belgian cameraman and director Jorge Léon. The documentary captures the life stories of Indonesian women trained as chambermaids or house servants and “distributed” throughout Asia. Without any social security yet with an instilled sense of absolute obedience, these women often work for little money beyond the bounds of their powers.
The last but not least film in the news section is set in Asia, too. After Disorder, the film Once Upon a Time Proletarian represents another interesting analysis of life in contemporary China. In twelve chapters, director Xiaolu Guo presents portraits of people from various parts of the country as well as various social levels, ranging from an old farmer who lost all of his lands to a young successful hotel owner who swears by the new red capitalism. The stories of profit, loss, and dreams fulfilled, lost or not yet found tell us about a country whose future matters even in the quiet heart of Europe.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.