A Political Perspective

The main theme dominating the first autumn issue of dok.revue is a political perspective. However, not in the sense of political agenda, as many readers could think.

The Situational Review is concerned with drug control policy. In a discussion on the winner in the best documentary category at Karlovy Vary IFF, Helena Třeštíková’s Mallory, national anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil said that Czech politicians or even the government tend to be afraid to listen to experts and prefer to appeal to the current moods of the citizens. “But it is fair to say,” added sociologist Martin Nekola, “that in the context of former communist countries and cities, our drug control policy is among the best.”

What can happen if artists and dissidents become politicians – forming more or less an autonomous intellectual enclave in a society that is not yet ready for major transformation? One of the consequences of such a situation was perhaps the voucher privatization, referred to by director Martin Kohout as a “sick idea” in an interview about his upcoming film The Czech Way which tries to draws a comprehensive picture of the voucher privatization and the Czech trauma with roots in the 1990s.

Another politically-charged question is what the society can or should be offering for free. In terms of cinema, the discussion revolves around the issue of whether films made with public support provided by the State Fund for Cinematography and Czech Television could be freely available online, among other channels. Ivan David, a specialist on legislation related to film and cinema, delves into the possibilities of the Open Access model functioning in the academic world of scientific research and its hypothetical application to audio-visual works in the Czech Republic in his essay What Should (Not) Be for Free and Why.

Our video blog brings up the topic of politically engaged art, whose purpose – according to its most notable representative, Russian provocateur Petr Pavlensky – is not to create political caricature, but to criticise the political apparatus. In fact, it is not Pavlensky, but the police – being one of the instruments of Russian political system – who is the main actor in his performances. The video dok.revue section features a recording of a presentation by Petr Pavlensky a performer who, with a cut earlobe, participated as one of last year’s lecturers in Jihlava’s Inspiration Forum.

14. 09. 2015

from current issue:

New releaseShooting About KunderaDocumentarian Miloslav Šmídmajer describes the process of making a documentary about Milan Kundera with the working title “Milan Kundera: From the Joke to Insignificance.” Miloslav ŠmídmajerThemeNest in the bedroomPeter Hames, well-known British film historian and author of the book The Czechoslovak New Wave sent his remembrance to Karel Vachek to our magazine.Peter HamesThemeNever stop laughingPaolo Benzi, the Italian film producer and founder of the independent film production company Okta Film, describes for dok.revue how he met famous Czech documentary filmmaker Karel Vachek, who passed away last year. Paolo Benzi is also the main tutor of the Emerging producers in Ji.hlava IDFF.Paolo BenziThemeBehold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightenedIn this English issue of dok.revue we have collected some remembrances to Karel Vachek, the respected Czech documentarist who died in December 2020 at the age of 80. One of the contributors is Olaf Möller, a well-known film theorist and critic collaborating with many renowned film magazines (Film Comment or Sight & Sound), film museums and festivals (e.g. Il Cinema Ritrovato or International Film Festival Rotterdam).Olaf MöllerThemeEvery human being should get to wear comfy shoesThe Czech documentarist Karel Vachek was a chairperson of the jury at Yamagata international documentary film festival (YIDFF) in 2009. The board member of YIDFF and the former director of this festival, Asako Fujioka, has a remembrance of him smoking his pipe and going to the mountains with Japanese poet and filmmaker Yoshimasu Gozo to recite poetry to the skies.Asako FujiokaThemeLike the dog on the beach...American film historian Alice Lovejoy writes her remembrance of Karel Vachek, the remarkable Czech documentarist to whom we dedicate this English issue of dok.revue.Alice LovejoySportPandemic as an opportunityJi.hlava's Emerging Producers discuss the opportunity that can emerge from crisisSteve RickinsonInterviewThe times of lifelong careers are overAn interview with documentarian Jindřich Andrš, whose film A New Shift won the Czech competition section Czech Joy at Ji.hlava IDFF2020.Vojtěch KočárníkInterviewGoing to the Polish Turf with Our Own TeamInterview with documentary filmmakers Filip Remunda and Vít Klusák about their latest joint film project Once Upon a Time in Poland that shows how religion and faith are misused in contemporary Poland for mass manipulation and political purposes. The film‘s Czech premiere was held as part of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2020.Kamila BoháčkováIntroductionDok.revue 1.21This issue is dedicated to the doyen of Czech documentary filmmaking Karel VachekKamila Boháčková