31 konců/31 začátků , Czech Republic, 2011, 82 min, DVD, HD, Arts and Culture
After four years of avoiding text altogether, the art group Rafani returns to the written word in the form of a film treatise, a logical outcome of their long-term work with video. The formal starting point lies in the mapping of Prague’s culture, especially its alternative scene. This point of departure then opens doors to further layers of meaning, such as movement from the city periphery to the city centre or a direction towards power and consciousness. The film is not so much concerned with the narrative as with movement articulated through the numerical sequencing of heterogeneous fragments. Each fragment has a theme and a representative figure, e.g. Kaspar von Urbach – Suburban Town, Ondřej Slačálek – Periphery, Vladimir 518 – Centre, Michal Viewegh – Power, Mark Ther – Negation. The film presents twenty one personalities mainly from the fields of contemporary art, literature and political activism. As usual with Rafani’s art projects, the authorship is collective.
Institute of Documentary Film, together with Czech film center, drew attention to the in-development project 31 Endings/31 Beginnings as it was included in the annual Czech Documentary Films catalogue, a summary of upcoming documentary production released by both the institutions since 2004. Moreover, the directors presented the group’s feature doc on stage among the selection of 10 prospective documentaries in the Prague’s Světozor cinema. Soon after the festival premiere, there came the first appraisal – the jury of the Czech Joy competition section at IDFF Jihlava awarded 31 Endings/31 Beginnings with special mention for “truly unusual approach to documentary film.”