First dok.revue 2014

Reflections on new Czech documentary films in the form of reviews, theoretical publications and poetry

The author of all the dok.revue cover illustrations is Michaela Kukovičová.

Czech dissent as a world of inner freedom and solidarity, portrayed by Miroslav Janek in the documentary Olga (2014), shows a completely different image than the solitary, strange worlds, embodied by three anti-communists fighters introduced in the Velvet Terrorists (2013). We could hardly find more dissimilar documentaries – one is honest and lyrical, the second is artificial and ambiguous. However, if juxtaposed in this year’s dok.revue, they pose questions to each other: about the life we lived in totalitarian Czechoslovakia, about more efficient form of resistance and about the purpose of asking these questions twenty-five years after the revolution. Both interviews regarding these films – with the director Janek about Olga and with three critical reviewers about soft terror in Czechoslovakia – eventually turn to the question about how the films help contemporary audience understand acts of resistance.

The subversive potential of the documentary is also referred to by Veronika Lišková, who speaks about the reasons that made her decide to shoot a film about people with a paedophile orientation. Her film will premiere this autumn and the reactions of some of her colleagues indicate that Daniel’s World has a truly explosive potential.

The festival’s winner, selected by Jihlava’s jury, The Great Night (2013) by Petr Hátle, is the topic of Petr Lukeš’s review, emphasising the aesthetic and emotional qualities of this socially-critical documentary.

This year’s first dok.revue also contains a remarkable theoretical section. You can find an extended version of the inaugural lecture held last June at FAMU by Vít Janeček. The author unveils his long-term fascination by the phenomenon of the so-called “talking heads” and his sensitivity towards various ways of presenting “talking heads” is transformed into a richly illustrated dramatics of the talking heads.

We also publish a noteworthy text by Bill Nichols, Documentary Reenactments: A Paradoxical Temporality That Is Not One. In his work, Nichols distinguishes between various types of reenactments of the past that he has seen in documentary films. At the same time, he tries to identify what these types have in common and where lies the essence – and deep attractiveness – of documentary reenactment: in the capability to roll up time, and to show past in its present quality, leaning toward the future.

Dok.revue, too, is now taking off toward the future. The next issue will be published on July 7.

Translated into English by Bára Rozkošná.

28. 04. 2014

from current issue:

Situational reviewCaught in the Net should really be on the net if it’s going to change anythingDiscussion about the new film by Vít Klusák a Barbora Chalupová Caught in the NetKamila BoháčkováSituational reviewWill our civilisation negotiate this turn?American documentarian Jeff Gibbs’ activist film Planet of the Humans, which criticises the way we treat renewable energy sources, has evoked numerous controversial reactions. It’s no surprise that the producer is well-known filmmaker Michael Moore, who released the film freely on YouTube on Earth Day, when the worldwide corona virus pandemic was at its peak.Kamila BoháčkováNew releaseFREMWhat 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 ČákanyováNew releaseSun 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 KryvenkoNew releaseThe 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 BogoljubovThemeThere’s more than one feminismA reflection on women documentarians inspired by Barbora Baronová’s book Women on WomenMartin ŠrajerTheoryBiopics and the Trembling Ethics of the Real We publish here the essay by one of the most prominent minds in film today, Timothy Corrigan, who presented his essay “Biopics and the Trembling Ethics of the Real” at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival in fall 2019 as a part of his lecture for students in the festival’s educational module Media and Documentary.Tereza Hadravová, Timothy CorriganInterviewWe have to start with ourselves, or nothing will changeAn interview with Macedonian documentarians Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevská, creators of the film Honeyland.Vojtěch KočárníkInterviewNone of the big streaming platforms are buying documentaries now because people are so scared in their personal lives Challenges for the film industry and festivals in the age of the coronavirusRadim ProcházkaIntroductionWhen local is universaldok.revue 1.20Kamila Boháčková