Worldly Children Piemule Jakub Old Believers The Rite of Spring Gyumri Lean a Ladder Against Heaven

Gyumri

Year:
2008
Duration:
68 min
Motive:
Jana Ševčíková
Screenplay:
Jana Ševčíková
Director:
Jana Ševčíková
Dir. of photography:
Jaromír Kačer, Stano Slušný
Editing:
Anna Ryndová
Dramaturgy:
Ivan Arsenjev
Sound:
Jaroslav Jehlička
Music:
Alan Vitouš
Producer:
Jana Ševčíková
Coproduction:
I/O P0ST, Studio Virtual


Film was produced with support of The Czech Republic State Fund for Support and Development of Czech Cinematography.

Synopse

In 1988, an earthquake killed at least 25.000 people in the Armenian city of Gyumri, a third of them children. Jana Ševčíková explores life after and with the disaster, meets survivors and their children. The latter, born after the incident, are often regarded by their parents as reincarnations of their dead siblings. Ševčíková, however, does not see them as proof of some primitive faith in reincarnation, nor does she ever fall prey to esoteric exaggeration. She takes her protagonists very seriously, showing how differently they cope with the double burden of their own and those strangers’ unlived lives. Although the dead are not just addressed directly in short messages, but are also present in all statements and images, Ševčíková manages first and foremost to endow the living with individuality. Again and again we see them dance, self-absorbed and free of the burden of responsibility for a few moments. By means of sparsely used archive material, a meticulously executed soundtrack, bizarre images of life among the ruins and very intense encounters, the film creates an almost unreal atmosphere somewhere between bottomless grief and the banality of daily life which simply goes on – even in a city where memory is part of everyone’s daily business, which got stuck between life and death 20 years ago.

Trailer

Screenings, festivals and awards

  • Roma International Film Festival 2008 - CULT Award – Cinema Della Realta
  • DOK Leipzig, 2008
  • Jihlava IDFF, 2008
  • Rotterdam IFF, 2009
  • One World Human Righs Film Festival, 2009 – Best director
  • Cinéma du Réel Paris, 2009
  • Verzio Film Festival Budapest, 2009 – Main Prize – Anthropological Section a Student prize
  • Margaret Mead Filmfestival, USA, 2010
  • Harvard University, USA 2007

Stills from the movie

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Others about the film