Sections of 53rd KVIFF
- Official Selection - Competition
- Official Selection - Out of Competition
- East of the West - Competition
- Documentary Films - Competition
- Special Events
- Another View
- Future Frames: Ten New Filmmakers To Follow
- Midnight Screenings
- Czech Films 2017–2018
- Made in Texas: Tribute to Austin Film Society
- Reflections of Time: Baltic Poetic Documentary
- People Next Door
- Seven Close Encounters
- Out of the Past
- Prague Short Film Festival Presents
Birds of Passage
Stěhovaví ptáci /
Pájaros de verano
Directed by: Ciro Guerra, Cristina Gallego
Colombia, Denmark, Mexico, 2018, 120 min
The tranquil, traditional life of a family from the Native American Wayuu tribe falls victim to the increasing wealth arising from the flourishing marijuana trade. What initially looked like an innocent way to add to the dowry becomes a battleground of hostility, violence and revenge. A visually refined family saga set among the newly emerging drug cartels.
Directed by: Spike Lee
USA, 2018, 128 min
A detective comedy based on real events. Set in the 1970s the film tells the story of an African-American police officer from Colorado who successfully infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and rises to lead it. As is his wont, in his latest movie Spike Lee shows absolutely no mercy at all.
Directed by: Lee Chang-dong
South Korea, 2018, 148 min
Inspired by a Haruki Murakami short story, Burning tells the tale of young Jong-su, a courier who’s in love with a girl he’s known since childhood. When she returns home from a trip abroad with a strange friend, they form an unlikely threesome. The friend, however, has an unusual hobby…
Directed by: Gaspar Noé
France, 2018, 95 min
You despised I STAND ALONE, you hated IRREVERSIBLE, you loathed ENTER THE VOID and you cursed LOVE. Now try CLIMAX!
Studená válka /
Directed by: Paweł Pawlikowski
Poland, France, United Kingdom, 2018, 84 min
The new picture by the director of the Academy Award-winning, black-and-white Ida was one of the most lauded competition entries at this year’s Cannes, with the award for Best Director confirming that claim. This enchanting story of fated love set in grey-tinged Poland (as well as in Berlin, Yugoslavia, and Paris) between 1949 in 1964 is both stirring and melancholy, as are the infectious tones of folk music and contemplative jazz that assume a special place in the film.
Directed by: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner
USA, 2018, 112 min
No one in this Western gets a fair shake. Young Samuel wanders the prairie in search of happiness and his beloved girl. But the American West isn’t for everyone, especially if you don’t know who it is you want to be. Someone ends up being the hero, someone the villain. But everyone just adores a damsel in distress.
Daughter of Mine
Má dcera /
Directed by: Laura Bispuri
Italy, Germany, Switzerland, 2018, 100 min
Vittoria’s world turns upside down when she finds out that her mother isn’t loving Tina but a debt-ridden lush named Angelica. How will the three of them come to terms with the situation? An Italian melodrama that asks a fundamental question: Is maternity determined by biological or cultural bonds?
Drahý synu /
Directed by: Mohamed Ben Attia
Tunisia, Belgium, France, Qatar, 2018, 100 min
An elderly couple’s central focus in life is their son Sami, who is studying for his high school finals. Sami often suffers from migraines and depression, something his father takes especially hard. But one day Sami disappears… A story of parental love and the thin line between care and dependence.
Directed by: Alexey German Jr.
Russia, Poland, Serbia, 2018, 126 min
A sketch on the life of the eminent Russian writer, prevented from realizing himself by the totalitarian regime and whose own stubbornness stopped him from selling out. Speaking with the same urgency about today as it does about the past, this artistically and emotionally compelling piece depicts an era brimming with the stymied lives of people who became dissidents or emigrated against their will.
Directed by: Valeria Golino
Italy, 2018, 115 min
Two brothers – rich and prodigal Matteo and resigned and self-deprecating Ettore – could not be more different. But then a grave medical diagnosis completely changes their lives and forces them to rethink their priorities. Set among the Italian upper classes, this bittersweet film effectively captures the fleeting nature of precious moments.
Všichni to vědí /
Todos lo saben
Directed by: Asghar Farhadi
Spain, France, Italy, 2018, 132 min
Asghar Farhadi’s eighth offering Everybody Knows, which opened this year’s festival in Cannes, is another of his films to illustrate the complexities of human relationships and their ultimate transformation. Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires with her husband and children, hardly ever goes back to her native country. The events that unfold on her final visit there change everyone’s lives. A sharply honed family drama starring the outstanding Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
Directed by: Lukas Dhont
Belgium, 2018, 105 min
Sixteen-year-old Lara wants to become a ballet dancer. Besides her demanding studies, however, she is also waging a relentless daily battle. Since childhood, she has known she was born into the wrong body… This empathetic picture, about the courage to accept yourself, won the Camera d’Or for best debut at this year’s festival in Cannes.
Dobré mravy /
As boas maneiras
Directed by: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
Brazil, France, 2017, 135 min
When pregnant and wealthy Ana hires a live-in nanny neither woman suspects what fatal consequences the birth will mean for both of them. This unconventional horror movie, incorporating fairytale elements, offers up an elegant classic style as well as criticism of Brazilian society.
Happy as Lazzaro
Šťastný Lazzaro /
Directed by: Alice Rohrwacher
Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, 2018, 125 min
This year the Cannes jury conferred Best Screenplay on the third picture from Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, who also turned heads on the French Riviera with Corpo Celeste and The Wonders. Addressing the question whether or not friendship can travel through time, Rohrwacher responds with a dreamlike story of kindhearted Lazzaro, who takes various adventures armed with an unshakable faith in human beings.
Directed by: Scott Cooper
USA, 2017, 134 min
The 20th century is just around the corner and resistance from the indigenous peoples of North America against concerted white efforts at genocide is now at a trickle. Traveling from Arizona to Montana, a dangerous pilgrimage by a motley crew is underway led by a taciturn American Army captain assigned to carry out what he considers an odious task – to escort a sick Cheyenne chief on his last journey. Starring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, and Wes Studi.
Lovecká sezóna /
Temporada de Caza
Directed by: Natalia Garagiola
Argentina, USA, France, Germany, Qatar, 2017, 105 min
Untamed South American scenery as a reflection of the tattered internal landscape of a father and son, hunter and apprentice, whose confrontational relationship is pushed to an extreme level of instinct during a hunt. Here, hunting stands as an initiation ritual that employs the predator-prey dynamic to teach not only killing but also humility and forgiveness.
Leave No Trace
Beze stop /
Leave No Trace
Directed by: Debra Granik
USA, 2018, 119 min
Fifteen-year-old Tom lives with her father in the woods on the edge of Portland. Voluntary isolation from “normal society” allows them to create a reality of pure, simple joys untainted by civilization. But one day the surrounding world rears its ugly head, and confrontation is unavoidable. Creator of the acclaimed Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik turned in one of the highlights of this year’s Sundance fest.
Mama Brasil /
Directed by: Gustavo Passos Pizzi
Brazil, Uruguay, Germany, 2018, 95 min
A large and lively family live on the outskirts of Rio. During heated days full of pranks and mutual teasing, Irene prepares for her son’s sudden departure abroad. This heartfelt film, about growing up too fast, maternal love, and family solidarity, garnered buzz at Sundance and Rotterdam.
Naléhavé zjevení /
Directed by: Gianni Zanasi
Italy, 2018, 110 min
Lucia, a surveyor by profession, lives with her teenage daughter in a small town in the Veneto region. One day the Virgin Mary appears to her and instructs her to build a church on a site planned for the construction of a commercial centre. Lucia initially thinks her mind is playing tricks, but in the end, in order to fulfil the Madonna’s wish, she launches a battle with the authorities and investors. And with good reason as it turns out. Starring Alba Rohrwacher, Lucia’s Grace won an award from the Directors’ Fortnight at this year’s Cannes fest.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Muž, který zabil Dona Quijota /
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Spain, Belgium, Portugal, United Kingdom, 2018, 132 min
Toby used to be an idealistic film student; today he is a cynical director of commercials. When, after ten years, he visits the picturesque hamlet where he shot his student project about Don Quixote, he discovers to his horror that the film changed the inhabitants’ lives beyond recognition. But separating fact from fiction won’t be all that easy.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Převýchova Cameron Postové /
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Directed by: Desiree Akhavan
USA, 2017, 91 min
When her guardians find out that their ward Cameron likes girls they take drastic steps – they send her to a Christian camp for gay conversion therapy. Set in the 1990s, this pleasing picture took the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance.
Directed by: Alonso Ruizpalacios
Mexico, 2017, 128 min
Christmas Eve, 1985. While the family is eating dinner Juan decides to implement his plan: he and his best friend are going to rob the National Museum of Anthropology. Alonso Ruizpalacios’s engrossing heist movie, inspired by the greatest burglary in Mexican history, features Gael García Bernal in the starring role.
Nico, 1988 /
Directed by: Susanna Nicchiarelli
Italy, Belgium, 2017, 93 min
Model, actress, singer, muse. Nico’s life is a tale of an uncompromising artist who found contentment in her work only after losing the majority of her fans. Her story, although an extreme case, relates a truth about the difficulties faced by many women, including artists and mothers, on their journey to true maturity.
The Parting Glass
Sklenka na rozloučenou /
The Parting Glass
Directed by: Stephen Moyer
USA, 2018, 96 min
The tragic death of the youngest sister (Anna Paquin) brings together members of a complicated family. The broken husband (Rhys Ifans) joins the siblings (Melissa Leo, Cynthia Nixon and Denis O’Hare) and the aging father (Ed Asner) on a journey, at whose end lie not only the effects the complex woman left behind but also a moving portrait of her, assembled from painful and joyful memories.
Rainbow – A Private Affair
Soukromá záležitost /
Una questione privata
Directed by: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Italy, France, 2017, 85 min
The films of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been regarded as masterpieces of Italian cinema since the 1960s and their work is also familiar to visitors to the Karlovy Vary IFF. Their final joint film is inspired by the posthumous novel by well-known writer Beppe Fenoglio, who evokes the atmosphere of the last few months of the Second World War through the fate of a young intellectual fighting for the resistance in Northern Italy.
Na břehu řeky /
Directed by: Isao Yukisada
Japan, 2018, 118 min
A group of high-schoolers from the outskirts of Tokyo engage in seemingly insignificant disputes. But in the context of both sincere and entirely self-seeking relationships, some individuals confront existential questions for the first time. Directed with a self-assured hand, the film offers a look at Japan’s teen generation – kids who are trying to take control of their lives without role models or any other assistance.
Season of the Devil
Období ďábla /
Ang Panahon ng Halimaw
Directed by: Lav Diaz
Philippines, 2018, 234 min
1970s Philippines. With its “moderate” four-hour length, this stylistically clear-cut depiction of a cruel era under martial law comes off as rather brief – only, of course, in the context of Diaz’s impressively long prior films. Nevertheless, the maverick writer-director’s latest offering will surprise even loyal fans as it represents his first foray into new genre turf: the musical.
Directed by: Kirill Serebrennikov
Russia, France, 2018, 126 min
Leningrad, the beginning of the 1980s. The grey gloom of political repression is brightened by an emerging edgy rock movement. Mike, frontman of the band Zoopark, meets young musician Viktor, who’s soon to become a Russian rock legend… Kirill Serebrennikov offers a visually polished tribute to artists whose music changed the world.
Sweet Country /
Directed by: Warwick Thornton
Australia, 2017, 113 min
The Australian bush, Northern Territory, 1920s. Free Aborigine Sam gets on the wrong side of embittered war veteran Harry, who believes that the original inhabitants should still be wearing irons. This masterfully directed Australian Western about deeply embedded brutality and racism garnered the Special Jury Prize at Venice and the most coveted award at the Toronto IFF.
Touch Me Not
Touch Me Not /
Touch Me Not
Directed by: Adina Pintilie
Romania, Germany, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, France, 2018, 125 min
“Why haven’t you ever asked me what this film is about? And why haven’t I ever told you anyway?” Largely rhetorical, these questions open the Romanian filmmaker's bold cinematic exploration of human intimacy. This highly tactile, conceptual film attempts to capture the physical proximity of one person to another and to define our own sense of intimacy with ourselves. Awarded the Golden Bear for Best Film at this year’s Berlinale.
To the Ends of the World
Až na konce světa /
Les confins du monde
Directed by: Guillaume Nicloux
France, China, Belgium, 2017, 103 min
Indochina, 1945. Young French soldier Robert Tassen (Gaspard Ulliel) sets out on a frantic mission whose goal is to find and punish Vietnamese General Vo Binh, instigator of the massacre that saw Robert’s brother brutally slain. This powerful, dark probe into the depths of a soldier’s soul comes from one of the most versatile of French directors (e.g. The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq).
U – July 22
Utøya, 22. července /
Utøya 22. juli
Directed by: Erik Poppe
Norway, 2018, 90 min
On July 22, 2011, a right-wing extremist attacked several hundred young people who were attending a summer camp sponsored by the Workers’ Youth League. Sixty-nine of them did not survive the rampage. Norwegian director Erik Poppe returns to the tragedy in order to see it through the eyes of the unsuspecting campers, who had to fight for their lives for a chaotic and interminable seventy minutes.
Directed by: Annemarie Jacir
Palestine, France, Germany, Colombia, Norway, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, 2017, 96 min
After many years in Italy, architect Shadi returns home to Nazareth for his sister’s wedding. And as an old Palestinian custom dictates, he and his father are to deliver the wedding invitations in person. Written and directed with care, the film takes viewers on a poignant journey toward mutual respect, out of which emerges a comprehensive mosaic of contemporary, if often contradictory, Palestine.
Directed by: Paul Dano
USA, 2018, 104 min
Acting icon of American independent film, Paul Dano debuts as director with an adaptation of a novel focusing on a thoughtful boy named Joe, whose adolescence in 1960s Montana is marked by his parents’ catastrophic marriage crisis. This solidly-built psychological drama features engaging performances from Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, and, above all, 16-year-old Ed Oxenbould.
The Wild Pear Tree
Planá hrušeň /
Directed by: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkey, France, Germany, Bulgaria, 2018, 188 min
Sinan has always wanted to be a writer. Convinced of his own exceptionalism, he returns to his hometown where he would like to earn enough money to publish his own book. Instead, he finds himself caught up in the same debts as his father… This visually captivating film is a reminder of the ineluctability of fate.
The World Is Yours
Svět je tvůj /
Le Monde est à toi
Directed by: Romain Gavras
France, 2018, 94 min
François deals drugs but he’ll only continue doing so until he saves up enough money to fulfil his dream – to become the official distributor of Mr. Freeze popsicles. However, things suddenly get out of hand and François is forced to take on one last job that will hopefully set things straight… A somewhat scatterbrained gang, consisting of his mum, two Mohammeds and his ex-stepfather, leaps into action.
Directed by: Lucrecia Martel
Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, Netherlands, Mexico, Portugal, USA, 2017, 115 min
A remote South American colony at the end of the 18th century. A Spanish official named Zama has been vainly expecting a letter from the king that is to sanction his transfer request to a more interesting locale. Hopefully it will arrive before he begins to show signs of the ill effects of years of isolation and frustration from peculiar bureaucratic willfulness. The fourth feature from the Argentinian icon of (post)modern film, a surreal and bizarre work, sometimes seems to treat viewers with a mischievous willfulness of its own.
Tři tváře /
Directed by: Jafar Panahi
Iran, 2018, 100 min
One day, well-known actress Behnaz Jafari receives a painfully cruel video from a girl whose parents have forbidden her to study acting. Behnaz immediately cancels the shoot she is working on and, accompanied by director Jafar Panahi, heads off to the locations where the video was made. Recipient of Best Screenplay at this year’s Cannes festival, the film offers up a reflection on artistic freedom and acting, and on traditions that can enrich and restrict at the very same time.