Film Archive

Jahr

Cinema, Mon Amour

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Romania
2015
74 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Tudor Giurgiu
Alexandru Belc
Tudor Vladimir Panduru
Ion Ioachim Stroe
Alexandru Belc, Tudor Giurgiu
Vlad Voinescu
Victor Purice definitely deserves a medal as a “Hero of Socialist Labour”. Witnessing the desperation, the vigour, the persistence with which he keeps fighting for his cinema brings tears to the eyes. The “Dacia” Panorama Film Theatre, somewhere in the Romanian province, a concrete beauty with several hundred seats, a good-sized foyer and solid 35 mm projection equipment is on the brink of failure. It shares the fate of many Romanian cinemas; there are less than 30 left. The others were privatised, sold off, turned into amusement arcades or discotheques, even the film studio sold many of them. What nonsense – just as we are celebrating the new golden age of Romanian cinema in our part of the world!

But Victor Purice and the small staff he has left will not be driven out of their dream cinema that easily. They live and cook among film reels, turn the foyer into a table tennis hall and watch a Hollywood blockbuster alone, if need be. All this is narrated affectionately and full of admiration for this modern Don Quixote who is fighting mismanagement, digital progress and a broken heating system. The price he pays is high. It’s to be feared that this story will not have a happy ending. Mission: Impossible.

Cornelia Klauß

H*ART ON

Documentary Film
Czech Republic
2016
73 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Miroslav Novák
Andrea Culková
BAZEL
Lukáš Milota
Thomas Ernst
Despina Kannaourou
Andrea Culková, Thomas Ernst
Petr Čechák
An artist’s life can only be comprehended from another artist’s perspective, because their biographies all tend to be lies, the Czech writer Milada Součková believed. Andrea Culková approaches the life and works of Součková’s husband Zdeněk Rykr (1900-1940) from the perspective of contemporary artists and Rykr experts in the Czech Republic, Japan and France as well as through archive material. Rykr’s graphic heritage consists mainly of the design of Orion chocolate – his commercial work was successful very early on. Aside from such commissions, however, he got very little recognition as an avant-garde artist who anticipated many developments in 1960s conceptual art.

A search for clues, this many-voiced collage film compiles programmatic, proclamatory and provoking acts and statements by different persons. The field of tension between artistic expression, provocation, lifestyle and commercialism is still an important issue for artists and curators today. It’s found in the flat of a Czech artists’ couple, at the margins of Art Basel, in preparations for an exhibition in Japan … What unites them all is the exploration of the human body and (one’s own) mortality.

Nadja Rademacher


Nominated for MDR Film Prize

The Dangerous World of Doctor Doleček

Documentary Film
Czech Republic
2015
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Kristýna Hněvsová, Dagmar Sedláčková, Tomáš Michálek
Kristýna Bartošová
Jakub Rataj
Kristýna Bartošová
Šimon Hájek
Kristýna Bartošová
Lukáš Ujčík
A film about Dr. Rajko Doleček – but how and to what purpose? A public figure as a doctor in Czechia, he appeared in the Yugoslavian war as a spokesman for the Serbian nationalistic view of the world. Even today the Knight of the Orthodox Church is proud of his friendship with General Ratko Mladić, about whom he wrote a book. Could it be possible at all to wrest some insight from this denier of the Srebrenica massacre – namely that he is wrong? The young director embarks on a delicate mission. Both are Czechs with roots in Yugoslavia. She has her Bosnian side, he his Serbian one. But the two are unequal opponents in terms of experience and social rank. What Kristýna Bartošová expected least, however, was that Doleček would disarm her with his openness, even introduce her to his friends. So she makes her doubts the content of this film as she ingeniously depicts the ambivalent relationship with her protagonist. She bakes him, who was fighting calories on television, a rich cake and takes him on a journey through the Republika Srpska, where his strategy of denial begins to look absurd. By exposing the limitations of her own film project she also exposes his limitations – and the limits of any historical (or documentary) search for truth.

Lars Meyer