„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.
A Vietnamese Shaolin soccer team attempts to advance in the Strahov league. It goes through the competition with success until the final. The effort of the Vietnamese team to get assimilated through soccer, popular both in the Czech Republic and in Vietnam, but being a competitive, frequently conflicting display at the same time. The conflict with the Czech opponents thwarts their dream of the final victory and friendship. Paradoxically, the solution of this conflict came in the form of a reconstruction of an unfilmed final match.
An essay on the sources of light, the meaning of darkness and light pollution, with several layers of interwoven meaning. In one of them, the author describes her experiences during an experiment in which she was shut up in total darkness. Another layer of the film describes the activity of "darkers" who interrupt electricity supplies and then have fun recording the spectacular results of their "ecoattacks." This polemical collage also points out how terribly dependent humans are on electricity, and how much of it they waste. One of the most interesting passages in this imaginative mosaic on the crisis of current civilisation is a meditation by Václav Bartuška on the limits of progress.
A documentary collage about the progress of one Czech day, composed by 24 directors. Everyone picked one hour, day or night, and received two minutes of the whole film at his or her disposal. This allowed for the mosaic on genres and topics that portrait the atmosphere of the Czech Republic today. At the same time, this unique project presents various filmmaking styles and approaches of the best contemporary Czech documentarians, all on the reel of one film. The authors accompany teenagers at a discotheque, observe doctors during surgery, laborers in a factory, believers in a synagogue or the descent in a human throat. Olga Špátová records the authentic power of the moment when the child is born. Vít Klusák engages a special camcorder to freeze the time of one tram stop. The flow of time is Helena Třeštíková’s topic – she films Katka taking yet another public bath in a Prague’s fountain. Martin Mareček shows a pair of legs sunk in aquarium, which, backed with a voiceover, illustrates the timeless power of human stupidity. Jiří Krejčík, a significant persona of Czech film, conceived his film hour with a great amount of humor and exaggeration.
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.
Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Imagine a space where the time has frozen. The time's stopped and life's been stuck in a shape resembling the era of Soviet Union. Somehow, people got used to the reign of the secret police and the fear of being spied on. Soviet-style propaganda of the authoritative, power-based regime of the president Igor Smirnov turns most of the PMR residents into simple workmen, without any will to understand how unbearable their situation is. Smirnov has been leading this non-existing country for as long as twenty years. The film focuses on a couple of characters being stuck in this geo-political gap, in between the European Union and Russia, in between the present and the past, crime and decency, decadence and hope for change. Framed by the time of presidential election, the film analyzes the organization of “no-state” and the rules of a regular life within.
Self-discipline, confidence and fascination for a life of success and wealth. High-end handbag as a ticket to a better society. It depends on how you look, what perfume and what brand of shoes you put on tonight. Another reason to reinvent yourself is that they always call you names and when you meet someone, you are immediately labeled as a vendor, greengrocer or a convenience store owner who cannot even say “Hello“ in Czech without sounding ridiculous. To escape prejudices associated with the Vietnamese community becomes the most important thing.
A five-part series of socially critical, truly “public service” documentaries made over the course of one year. Each film deals with a compelling social issue and its broader context. Each topic is tackled without bias, presumptions and without sentimentality. Rather than to scare or move the viewer, this thought-provoking series wants to stir up debate on stereotypes in our approach to reality. Topics will include current events that are in the headlines, e.g., racism, corruption, organized crime, civic initiatives, public institutions, lobbying and other important events related to politics, sports or culture.