Mareček’s documentary, utterly successful in Czech Republic, managed to reach for the top place among 17 films from 18 countries. According to the main section jury, including Mihai Țărnă (Moldova), Irina Margareta Nistor (Romania), Grit Lemke (Germany), Marian Voicu (Romania) and Pascal Servais (France), the film proved to be “A complete movie, an original and intelligent approach, contains humor and fineness.”
Among East European caravan titles in the main section were also: Abendland (dir. Nicolaus Geyrhalter, Austria), Leonid’s Story (dir. Rainer Ludwigs, Germany/Ukraine), Strong – A Recovery Story (dir. András Kollmann, Hungary), A Letter to Dad (dir. Srdjan Keca, Serbia); supplemented by an off-competition screening of the IDF’s 101st documentary Ramin (dir. Audrius Stonys, Latvia).
The winner of Grand Prize and the Trophy of the Festival:
Pod sluncem tma , Czech Republic, 2011, 81 min, DV, Creative, Current Affairs, Portrait, Social Issues
In 2006, Milan and Tomas electrified a school campus and a hospital in a detached Zambian village. After four years, they return for the last time to find out about their system's failures, repair it and hand it over at last. The film follows them through chaotic days as well as pitch black nights and provides a fresh insight into the pitfalls of humanitarian development projects. Short circuits of all sorts, blending and dissolving of different worlds, rituals of gratitude and concepts of solutions. With no attempts to declare or evaluate anything, Solar Eclipse becomes a situation probe examining various forms of light and darkness. Will the two Czech linkboys succeed in lighting up the Zambian bushland?
Other caravan titles at Cronograf festival:
Austria, 2011, 90 min, HD, Creative, Society
Western standard of living, civilization, and the urge to exclude others from it are the core of Geyrhalter's latest cinematic documentary essay. Entirely shot at night, Geyrhalter takes us on a very personal journey through the Western world and the structures that guarantee our "civilized" world. Sometimes darkness can help us to see things more clearly.
Istoriya Leonida , Germany, Ukraine, 2011, 19 min, DVD, Animated, Environmental, History, Human Rights
A Soviet family searching for a modest paradise is swept into an immense disaster. Chernobyl 1986. Leonid grew up in the village next to the reactor. The film comprehends the development of this world disaster through the destiny of the protagonist and his family. The small episodes reconstruct the emotional dimension of the tragedy: The children who run to the burning reactor, getting a look at the spectacular drama, the unsuspecting village people in the surrounded area, the animals which remain behind after the evacuation, and the helpless tries of mankind to eliminate the impact of the nuclear disaster, accompanied by the faceless Soviet system. In the end there is a happy ending: The triumph of life over the disaster.
Eross , Hungary, 2011, 85 min, HD, Adventure and Sports, Health, Portrait
Zsolt Eross is the most successful Hungarian mountaineer. So far he has climbed 8 of the highest peeks in the world, Mount Everest among others. On 2nd of January 2010 he suffered an avalanche accident in the High Tatras breaking both his legs. Because of the unexpected complications of the open, splintered fracture and for the possibility of the early rehabilitation – as his own decision – his right leg was amputated from knee downwards. The movie illustrates a moving, human story of an injured person rising back to his feet, far overwhelming his character. He tells a universal story which can happen to anyone. Zsolt Eross - whose family name means strong in Hungarian - shows his strengths in this situation. He wants to return to the moutains as soon as possible. Few months after the accident he returns to the Himalayas to attempt Cho Oyu, the 6th highest peak in the world, but he had to realize that the accident weakened him more than he had thought.
Pismo tati , Serbia, United Kingdom, 2011, 48 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Personal View, Portrait, Society
"Hey Dad, you died suddenly." The filmmaker, trying to make sense of the way his father chose to die, opens several boxes, all that is left behind. The forgotten photos, letters and home videos take the film back to the 1970s Yugoslavia, when his parents became lovers. But the journey through the years, to family members, lost friends and places, reveals the lingering horrors of the recent Balkan wars still tearing people and families apart. A film that, in the most immediate way, questions the individual responsibility of ordinary people caught in the winds of war.
Ramin , Georgia, Latvia, 2011, 58 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Portrait, Society
Ramin Lomsadze, a 75-year-old Georgian wrestler who once won seven matches in 55 seconds, is getting ready for the fight with his last and most formidable opponent - loneliness. He gets on the train and sets off for a remote Georgian village to seek out the girl he loved and lost fifty years ago.
Solar Eclipse Wins at Cronograf