Painter Zdenek Kosek. Fascination with the weather, with storms, snowstorms, rain... He used to rule the whole universe ten years ago. But birds, being more intellingent than people, made a connection between the Earth and the sky...
Children of Stalinism
„CHILDREN OF STALINISM“are those who grew up in 50s in communist Czechoslovakia and experienced the Velvet Revolution. They opened up for the documentaries to give a testimony of the past. The communist regime robbed them of their childhood, they have often never seen one or both of their parents, or not until they came back from the communist prisons. They often ended up in the care of their relatives or in institutional care, at worst. They were labeled “children of the enemy”, or “criminals’ children” and were deprived of opportunities to get higher education, and condemned to live at the margins of the society. They were not guilty of anything, but had to live lives of sinners. This goes like a red thread through all fourteen 26 minutes long parts of “Children of Stalinism” series. The parts of the series are not only testimonies of political prisoners and their families as seen through the eyes of their children, but they also attempt to understand and mediate main protagonists’ life as they live it now and as it was shaped by their difficult past.
Terezín fortress, a WW2 concentration camp, gets visited by 200,000 tourists every year, as it's a short stop on the way from magical Prague to Karlštejn castle. Enjoy yourself. Cut glass as a souvenir. Dachau, Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Ravensbrück. Nutrias, grass snakes, a home of birds. Arbeit macht frei.
I am in the Garden
CHILDREN OF STALINISM series. A reconstruction of the cycling tour made by Mrs. Vera she used to make when visiting her father in jail. Ghosts of the past headed by K. Gottwald, first Czechoslovak working class President, appear…The film forms a dialogue between digital pictures and archive newsreels. A stylized reconstruction of a half-century-old cycling tour of the main protagonist Mrs. Věra Pavlovcová. A bizarre portrait of an aging woman, a daughter of political prisoner, imprisoned and tortured by the former Czechoslovak communist regime in 1950’s, who sets out on journey to visit her father in Valdice prison. On the way through scrubby family garden with its glasshouse, through region at the foothill of Krkonoše Mountains with stops at the graveyard and athletic stadium, ghost of the past – including Klement Gottwald (the first Czechoslovak working-class president), his wife Marta and granddaughter Batul – are appearing. As a matter of form, it is an attempt to knot together a dialogue between contemporary digital pictures and archive film newsreels, still present in our memory …
Portrait of a modern Turkish atheist.
A reconstructed documentary taking place before Christmas on the periphery of Prague. One night and one morning in the lives of six protagonists looking for their place at the beginning of the 21st century. Drug addiction, alcoholism, pornography and pop music curing the open wounds of their lives.
Children of Jewish Communists – 1950s Political Prisoners – Audiovisual Testimonies
Testimonies by descendents of political prisoners of the 1950s, whose parents were of Jewish origin and also were top representatives of the Czechoslovak Communist Party after 1948.
Based on stories selected from the bestseller Gottland by Polish author Mariusz Szczygiel, a series of film essays will be made by six FAMU students, describing the Czech national history from the perspective of one who never won. Surrounded by superpowers in its geopolitical space, Czechoslovakia has always had to manoeuvre within the limits set by others (e.g. when fighting for the unwanted Emperor of Austria in World War I, suffering the trauma of the Munich Pact etc.). Unable to decide about their own fate, Czechs had to develop a strategy of constant compromise-seeking behaviour and peaceful solutions, assuming the position of the "absent one", since that was the most advantageous way of defence; minimizing the experience of loss, however, leaving behind a great moral mutilation. In comparison with other nations of the world, nothing much ever happened to Czechs and nothing much ever will.
Digital Prints of a Revolution
Real people and their stories hidden behind the shared cell phone amateur videos shot during the Arab Spring in 2011. A documentary road movie in between digital space and reality. In December 2010, after a desperate shopkeeper set fire to himself and burnt to death in Tunisia, public riots began. In the following weeks and months a massive wave of revolutions moved to other Arab countries, with its extraordinary power set in motion by apparent certainties of oligarchic North African and Middle Eastern regimes. The main media and revolutionary method of communication between young Arabs is the internet. Social networks and Youtube represent a kind of meta-space free of government control. Videos shot with cell phone cameras, thousands of hours of brutal evidence against the power of the state, Revolution documenting itself online. How many personal videoarchives were possibly shot only during the mythical gathering of one million Egyptians in Tahrir square in February? And who are the real people hidden behind these iconic images? Would there be any revolution without these strong shared video-images?
A documentary survey of urban night life and insomnia. Following several characters who inhabit the dark world of 24-hour bars, slot machine dives, night clubs and casinos, this film offers a glimpse into the world of people who live in an eternal night. The film focuses on several people who gravitate towards this environment that is like a guiding light where one is never alone. They keep returning here driven by insomnia, escapism, odd friendships, night adventures, criminal underworld and drug addiction. By using meth and other stimulants, their insomnia and paranoia are only getting worse. A portrait of a subculture that pursues its own values and moral code.