Jihlava's 2014 Opening
Why the Vietnamese Factory?
24. 10. 2014 / Sam Graeme Beaton
Once again, the beginning of the Jihlava Documentary Film Festival again sees thousands of film enthusiasts from the Czech Republic and beyond converge on the small town in the Czech highlands. Following on from the "good harvest" of 2013, the choice for this, the 18th annual festival, is `factory'; and visitors will be treated to a suitable short postcard evoking the heavy industry, dust and machinery of what appears to be a refuse plant before each film begins. With much inspiration from the subject to play on, I found the visual choice of the opening ceremony somewhat bizarre, for reasons I will now explain.
Above all, it seems to me to show a remarkable lack of imagination at the expense of something that is an international scandal. Should Jihlava Documentary Film Festival be trying to make light out of human misery? Why did they believe that the opening ceremony was the right stage for this? Jihlava is the oldest mining town in the Czech Republic, with obvious industrial roots; in a country with a rich industrial history of its own. Would it not have been more appropriate to use this angle, rather than that of a country 9,000 kilometres to the East? It also had no connection whatsoever to the opening screening, Alice Nellis's Konkurz na rodiče. The festival should rightfully be regarded as a must-go for Czech and international filmmakers and industry. It should not be reducing itself to offensive displays such as the one witnessed last night.Vytisknout
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