Will documentary cinema still be around in twenty years? And if so, in what form?

On the occasion of 20th anniversary of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival we have invited our guests to join us in contemplating the future of documentary cinema.

In twenty years, we will be emancipated from audio-visual rhetoric and the way in which it legitimizes the tentacular and sophisticated excrescences of liberalism. In twenty years, we will all be busy discussing films at democratic forums that film festivals will still be and the films themselves will be at odds with the frenzied movement of the agglomerated, tacky mass of the visual flows. In twenty years, we will be caught up in radical dissidence and it will be a matter of urgency to share federating visions. In twenty years, we will be busy together, joyfully and seriously, recasting the political and poetic shapes of this cinéma du réel that gives meaning to the world. Creation will invent necessarily-subjective narratives that will transcend the established genres. In twenty years, we will have escaped the loneliness of the digital-web hypermarkets that shape docile consumers. In twenty years, we will be disruptive contemporaries in the comfort of our convictions and in the magnificent discomfort of the risks we take in filming true stories: those of the world, its disasters and achievements, its nightmares and wonders, its irreducible complexity and beauty.

Jean Perret, Film Historian and Scholar


It’s difficult to answer such a question; 20 years is a long period of time and I’m not a soothsayer.

Rather, one can try to imagine what is going to happen in the following years, with the growing importance of contemporary art practices within the traditional documentary field, or the fusion of documentary formats and fictional structures in objects addressed to a larger audience. But if we want to play a short sci-fi game we can imagine that in the world of 2036, a massive 3D invasion will have taken place, having as a consequence an even more dramatic development of all these films favouring entertainment and performance at any price, instead of a deep quiet look on humanity…

That being said, I don’t share the catastrophic tone of your question: “Will documentary films still be around in 20 years?” Of course they will be around! Like any other forms of cinema. According to some prophets of doom, cinema should have been long dead already, but films are still being made and we are constantly wondering how to improve all the processes they require.

Well, my friends, let's have fun! Times are changing but our struggle continues.

Luciano Barrisone, Director of Visions du Réel


Of course, there will be radical changes. The world of cinema may change, the world of media and probably also the way one sees films. It may be even thinkable that cinema and the way cinema exists in our days will not exist anymore in the near future.

But however big the changes might be, one thing will never change: the need and the wish of humans to see, to know, to experience the TRUTH. As long as documentary filmmaking is dedicated to that wish it will exist, whatever its form or its way of seeing might be in the near future.

Ulrich Seidl, Documentarian





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starší články

F5.16DOK.REVUE
30. 10. 2016


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 LovejoyInterviewThe 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