Daniel’s World

Veronika Lišková speaks about the circumstances leading to the creation of her new documentary, Daniel’s World, that is to be released in Czech cinemas in autumn 2014

Daniel’s World

Three years ago, I got a phone call from my friend, producer Zdeněk Holý, who suggested a potential subject for a documentary film – paedophilia. He had seen a schematic TV report covering a case of child abuse by a paedophile and he conceived the idea to go and find, as he put it, “a harmless paedophile” and make a film about him. At first, I was not too enthusiastic about his idea. My view of the topic was influenced by the established and simplified media image and stereotypes. In my mind, I drew an equation between paedophilia, child pornography and child abuse. I did not recall theories regarding sexual orientation of Foglar, Carroll or Andersen or anything else that would make the view of the issue seem less black-and-white.

Not before long, Zdeněk called again. In the meantime, he got in contact with a man with a nick Jiří Fx100d, who was willing to meet up. The meeting took place in a slightly bizarre setting of a socialist “culture house”. With the throbbing sound of disco music in the background, we were talking to a quiet man with roving eyes and a little dog on his lap. He was talking about his first love, whom he had picked out at a playground under his window, about how he befriended her and her parents and became a favourite babysitting uncle, and about unsuccessful relationships with women and his future prospects. My meeting with Jirka and his online confessions were enough for me to decide that a film about “harmless paedophiles” is worth shooting. Not that I have been overcome by the messiah complex and wanted to start “advocating” these people. I felt rather compelled to cope with my own stereotypes. To somehow grasp the whole issue and try to understand it.

A number of members of the Czech paedophile community whom I met in the following months were willing to appear in the film, if I granted them anonymity. However, this would limit the shooting potential. I was considering various forms of disguise, but I did not want to portray the protagonists as mysterious phantoms. A paedophile has already become a spectre in the eyes of the society. It took almost a year, before I found Daniel – a student at a literary academy, who decided for a public coming-out by publishing his autobiographical book. Daniel told me that he had not encountered any significant problem with any one of those he came out to, and this was why there was no reason for him to hide his face.

Daniel’s World

We recorded Daniel’s world for a period of one year – from situations that were closely related to his life, through to confessions recorded by himself, even during his meetings with his friends from the paedophile community. The result is his delicate and intimate portrait. Even before its initial official release, we have already been confronted with situations in which we needed to explain ourselves, defending the film and its style as well as the individual scenes. There are people who seem to mind that the film shows paedophiles outside the established stereotypes. There have been worries about the audience’s approach to the film. Daniel and his friends from the community will clearly have to cope with the fears and prejudices of their surroundings also in the film arena. I believe that thanks to their courage and open approach to shooting, their struggle will be crowned with success.

Daniel’s World will be released in Czech cinemas this autumn.

Translated into English by Bára Rozkošná.

more articles from a section:  New release

1.21Shooting 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 Šmídmajer
2.20The Alchemical FurnaceJan Daňhel describes the concept behind his documentary film Alchemical Furnace that portrays the figure and work of Jan Švankmajer.
2.20Heaven over Today’s ChinaWhat is the story behind the feature-length documentary, Heaven, focusing on a Chinese Christian-run orphanage that is also a testimony about today’s China? Director Tomáš Etzler sees the film as a logical ending of his seven years in the Middle Kingdom. The second contribution was written by editor Adéla Špaljová who describes her collaboration with the director on the creation of the final cut of the documentary.Tomáš Etzler, Adéla Špaljová
2.20As Far As Possible Ukrainian documentarian Ganna Iaroshevych describes how she has been preparing her new film called As Far As Possible. It´s a portray of a man who decided to leave Germany and lives in the Ukrainian mountains fighting against the extinction of water buffaloes. „Our film tells about an alternative way of slow living close to nature and animals, and in harmony with yourself. And it seems to us that now this topic is especially relevant to many people around the globe,“ says Ganna Iaroshevych.Ganna Jaroševič
1.20The story of a small provincial townNovice Russian director Dmitrij Bogoljubov tells dok.revue about the circumstances surrounding the origin of his new film Town of Glory, a co-production with Czech production company Hypermarket Film and Czech Television. The film uncovers the mentality of Yelnya, a provincial Russian town that is one of the most depressing in the country and where the legacy of the Great Patriotic War still lingers – something Putin’s establishment has successfully exploited to gain the support of the local citizens. The film was available to stream for a short time in March on the portal DAFilms as a part of the festival One World Online. This fall it will be shown on Czech Television and possibly in cinemas as well.Dmitrij Bogoljubov
1.20Sun of the Living DeadAnna Kryvenko on the loss of compassion in the post-factual age, the battle with the chaos and hostility of the universe, and how to create a documentary essay from archive materials.Anna Kryvenko
1.20FREMWhat is it like to shoot a film in Antarctica? Is it possible to get into the head of artificial intelligence? And what is GAI? All this is described by the documentarist Viera Čákanyová in the text she wrote about her new film FREM in dok.revue.Viera Čákanyová
1+2.19Havel Speaking, Can You Hear Me?What were the two last years in the life of former dissident, ex-president Václav Havel like? How did he reflect on the fact that he was gradually leaving this world? Documentarian Petr Jančárek talks about his upcoming documentary film capturing the final stretch of Havel’s, life, the rough cut of which was shown at the Ji.hlava IDFF in the Studio 89 section marking this year’s anniversary of the so-called Velvet Revolution.Petr Jančárek
1+2.19On Adultery as Mirror of Our Own SelvesBarbora Jíchová Tyson, a visual artist, who has been living in America for seventeen years, has finished her first feature film Talking About Adultery this year. According to the author, the film is an essayistic collage and represents a perspective on humanity, which holds the mirror up to us all.Barbora Jíchová Tyson
3.16Gangsters, Helena and Me.Director and actress Petra Nesvačilová on her new movie HELENA’S LAW

starší články

28. 04. 2014

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