International documentary film festival
April 14 - 21, 2024
Kaptol Boutique Cinema, Zagreb

ZagrebDox Saturday


ZagrebDox Saturday

Yesterday’s exceptional turnout and audience satisfaction are a pledge for an even more exciting festival Saturday, which culminates with the award ceremony at 6:15 pm in theatre 5. The award-winning films will be shown under the collective title Best of Fest on Sunday according to a schedule that will be announced later tonight. On Friday, the screenings of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s concert and testament film, David Lušičić’s medium-length Seagull and Newsreel 242 – Sunny Railways by Nika Autor, which dealt problematically and interdisciplinarily with Yugoslavian heritage, as well as the cheerful Bhutanese film Agent of Happiness (which can still be seen today) were sold out, and the first Big Stamp was awarded to Hrvoje Hribar, as part of whose author’s night we watched Vis fishing in Once There Was a Man. ZagrebDox PRO was also successfully completed on Friday, and among the seven submitted projects, mentors Lucie Kon and Sead Kreševljaković found particular potential in the Tunisian Fish on You by Amal Seele, the Armenian Unveiling Shadows: Women of Post–Soviet Armenia by Tugce Aurora Aydin and the Belgian-Croatian When the Wind Blows by Iva Tkalec and Anna Savchenko.

Among the special treats of the traditionally attractive ZagrebDox Saturday, we should single out the epic, four-hour film Menus-plaisirs — Les Troisgros (8 pm, theatre 2) about a French restaurateur family that runs three establishments with three Michelin stars, cooked by the legendary Frederick Wiseman. The film shows the great artistic ingenuity, imagination and hard work of the restaurant staff in the creation, preparation and presentation of top-quality dishes. And the American critics, who honoured it with several awards and thereby enriched the showcases of this owner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, the Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and four Emmys, also consider the work to be ‘delicious’. In any case, an unparalleled audiovisual and culinary spectacle awaits us.

From the showcase of particularly valuable audiovisual offers, the biographical doc of an enviable festival path Pure Unknown should be singled out by Valentina Cicogna and Mattia Colombo, which can only be seen today, at 17:30 in theatre 2, followed by a Q&A with the authors. Pure Unknown tells the story of a forensic scientist who uses autopsies and genetic tests to determine the identities of the corpses of migrants washed up on the Italian coast by the Mediterranean Sea, to return the bodies to those who loved the deceased and thus save Europe from its indifference.

Among the multitude of films, there will be room for some rerun screenings of outstanding crowd pleasers. At 17:30 (theatre 1), the excellent Hungarian and Croatian (co-production) KIX is shown once again, following the transformation of a rebellious Budapest kid into a disillusioned young man in the manner of Linklater’s Boyhood over 12 years in a struggle with the challenges of adolescence, schooling and family life. The film actively reflects on the relationship between the subject and the filmmaker and poses key questions of documentary filmmaking, and directors Dávid Mikulán and Bálint Révész will personally offer some answers to them. Alternatively, at 15:30, theatre 3 takes us first to the Australian wasteland in Marungka Tjalatjun (Dipped in Black), and then to Benin in Dahomey – an example of an impeccable contemporary post-colonial documentary that will satisfy fans of archaeology and museology, but also those who seriously they ponder the wider implications of returning stolen national treasures.

Saturday at ZagrebDox starts already at 1 pm in theatres 4 and 5, which will be dedicated to the best titles of Regional Competition until 5 pm. Lucija Brkić’s short In Transit, about a migrant transit station in Rijeka and a girl who devotes herself entirely to helping the unfortunates gathered there, is paired with Eneos Çarka’s longer Another Day, about Albanian street performers who sought happiness abroad (1 pm, theatre 4). The Fairy Garden (dir. Gergő Somogyvári) takes us to a Budapest suburb where a transgender teenage girl and an elderly homeless man live under the same roof (1 pm, theatre 5), and the buzz about Renata Poljak’s new film Woods That Sing about four female partisans can be checked out at 3 pm in theatre 4, when, in theatre 5, fresh and important themes are also given a boost in the films 1001 Nights by Rea Rajčić (about senior female fans of Turkish soap operas and TV), Deep Tones by Igor Ilić (about overcoming the trauma of the Zagreb earthquake with the help of quality acoustic technique) and Pain by Ivan Faktor (about the experience of Parkinson’s disease and light impressions in a closed space to which the author was condemned).

At the other end of the Kaptol Boutique Cinema corridor, in theatre 1 at 1:30 pm, you can see the International Competition titles Girl Away from Home and A New Kind of Wilderness, about a fugitive Ukrainian gymnastics star, or about a family of nature lovers who, after a tragedy from Arcadian self-exile, must return to modern society. At the same time, in theatre 3, the only opportunity is offered for Teen Dox Maydegol (dir. Sarvnaz Alambeigi), awarded with a special prize of the jury of the younger generations at the festival in Berlin. It is a story about an Afghan teenage girl who is emigrating to Iran, despite conservatism, xenophobia and physical abuse, wants to do Thai boxing professionally. The film about the persistence of Generation Z in the fight for women’s rights in the Middle East is a must-see at this year’s ZagrebDox.

At 2 pm in theatre 2, there is the last screening of what is perhaps the most critically acclaimed film of this year’s festival. Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters, nominated for an Oscar and awarded at Cannes, represents the director’s peculiar therapeutic, performative-film mechanism that removes the veil from the life stories of the Tunisian woman Olfa and her daughters.

At 3:30 pm, in theatre 1, we travel once again to Bhutan in In Search of Happiness, following the path of the measurer of that state who meets the different inhabitants of that mountainous country. At 4 pm (theatre 2), we will be treated to magical customs and apocalyptic mining landscapes of the Bor region in Eluned Zoë Aiano and Alesandra Tatić’s Flotation, which will reveal something more about the family of dragon hunters and the conflict between nature/tradition and industry/modernity in Majdanpek.

At 5 pm in theatre 4, the Georgian wastelands hide the Magic Mountain, and it hides the mysterious Abastumani Palace inhabited by outcasts and secrets of the past. The film by Mariam Chachia, who gave the work a great personal contribution, toured the festival world and collected numerous professional awards.

The same can be said for Elvis Lenić’s new film Ship about the Pula shipyard Uljanik, winner of the Grand Prix at the festival in Jihlava, the screening of which, along with a conversation with the author, will be held at 5 pm in theatre 5. Through a collage of observational footage, we are caught up with the emotional testimonies of numerous individuals who dedicated their professional and private lives to Uljanik. The film is a memorial to socialist workers’ collectives and an extensive, deeply researched and visually stunning depiction of a shipyard whose rise and fall reflect the political fate of the former Yugoslavia.

We talk to Markus Toivo after the screening of his film Under Construction (6 pm, theatre 2), in which he talks about his own father, an obsessive builder of the family house, which, unlike his family, he never gave up on. Maciek Hamela is the last interlocutor of the ZagrebDox audience on the occasion of the screening of his film In the Rearview (7 pm, theatre 4), of which he is not only the director, but also one of the main protagonists as a volunteer driver of Ukrainian refugees.

At 7 pm in theatre 5, the Danish The Mountains, winners of Hot Docs (the largest documentary film festival in North America), are the autobiographical work of self-taught director Christian Einshøj about his attempt to prevent the disintegration of his family (whose genesis goes back to the long-ago death of his brother) with home videos, photographs and superhero costumes.

At 19:30 (theatre 1) No Other Land (dir. Basel Adra, Hamdan Ballal, Yuval Abraham, Rachel Szor), the best documentary of the Berlinale (where it also received the audience award), is signed by the Palestinian-Israeli collective, following the Palestinian activist Basel who teams up with the Israeli journalist Yuval in the fight against the occupation. A lighter program is offered at the same time in theatre 3, where Joan Baez: I Am a Noise (dir. Karen O’Connor, Miri Navasky, Maeve O’Boyle) is about the title musician, civil rights fighter and activist whose past is brought to life with the help of unique archival recordings.

At 9 pm (theatre 4) in Angelos RallisMighty Afrin: In the Time of Floods, a powerful meeting of naturalism and fiction, we follow 12-year-old Afrin in the desolate wilderness of the disappearing islands of the mighty Brahmaputra River. After a great flood, Afrin is transformed into a heroine who embarks on a journey into the heart of Bangladesh in an attempt to track down her father. At the same time in theatre 5 1489 by Shoghakat Vardanyan leads us into the immense sadness of Nagorno-Karabakh.

At 21:30 (theatre 1) Nick Cave will play again with his old band in Ian White’s Mutiny in Heaven: The Birthday Party, and the regular program of the 20th ZagrebDox will end at 22:00 in theatre 3 with Another Body, Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn’s film about a victim of deepfake pornography who turns the tool of her pain against her abuser.


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