What films really got to me this year? The best of One World 2018


What films should you definitely not miss at this year’s 20th anniversary festival? Festival director Ondřej Kamenický, programming director Ondřej Moravec, and festival programmer Julie Kárová together with the experts from the People in Need organization share their favorites.

Of Fathers and Sons

A portrait of a slightly different family, in which the father – a fighter for the Al-Nusra Front – is training his sons in battle. The film, which will cause audiences to wonder how this kind of hell is even possible, takes a full-frontal look at the intimate combination of family life and war. 
— Ondřej Kamenický, director, One World festival

The Departure

If you don’t have enough time or money for real therapy, Japanese monk and former rocker Ittetsu will help free your soul from pain, if only for just a while. A meditative film that at least briefly took me away from the chaos of everyday life. An ideal way to update your inner system.
— Ondřej Moravec, programming director

Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq

A film the will captivate you from beginning to end! It takes us into the lives of the original inhabitants of Greenland, amidst glaciers and snowfield. A visual and oral onslaught that unobtrusively calls attention to the impact of climate change.
— Julie Kárová, festival programmer

The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid

If you’re puzzling over how you can use Victorian wigs in a film about land takeovers in Ireland, take a look at Thomas’s story. Intel makes him very angry, and he likes to watch Dallas. All in all, he’s a very nice guy. And the film is charmingly off-the-wall.
— Ondřej Moravec, programming director

Nothing Like Before

The Sudetenland has been the subject of more than one documentary film, although most of them succeeded in presenting a mere caricature of this place. Nothing Like Before is an important change in this regard: it takes us up close and personal into the lives of several young people from the town of Varnsdorf as they search for direction in life. An extraordinary journey into the soul of our country’s periphery.
— Ondřej Kamenický, director, One World festival

Becoming Who I Was

This documentary only lightly touches on the theme of human rights, but it will draw you in with its human dimension. The film is a nicely done portrait of the close, warm, and affectionate relationship between a young boy and his teacher and their common battle to attain a goal. It is also about the effort and time that it may take an individual to fulfil their dreams, which, in the case of the young Rinpoche, is finding his monastery.
— Sylva Horáková, Head of the Human Rights Department, People in Need

Granny Project

If you have ever made fun of your grandparents, then you almost certainly know that they can return the favor a hundred times better. A touching story of a group of friends interviewing their grandparents about “what it was like when you were young…”– humorous, stern, and sometimes with a tear in the eye.
— Ondřej Kamenický, director, One World festival

When the War Comes

Japan may be meditative, but events in Slovakia are sure to get your blood pressure dangerously high. Director Jan Gebert shows how seemingly innocent “playing at soldier” can create a dangerous nationalist movement. One of the strongest domestic documentaries of the year recently premiered at the Berlinale.
— Ondřej Moravec, programming director

The Distant Barking of Dogs

This subtle but also cautionary film shot in the village of Hnutove in eastern Ukraine follows young Oleg, who lives with his grandmother in the middle of a war zone. One of the most moving films of this year’s festival, which truly spoke to me with its honesty and directness.
— Julie Kárová, festival programmer

The Prince of Nothingwood

It’s fascinating to watch the determination with which Salim Shaheen and his actors stubbornly overcome one obstacle after another: the strict father of one of the actresses doesn’t let his eyes off his daughter during filming, some of the actors have absolutely no talent, the ever-present bystanders, and even exploding rocket fire. The eyewitness accounts of the actors, who finished shooting a scene only after removing the dead, are themselves wrapped in bandages, provide authentic evidence about the resilience of people who have never known peace.
Jaroslav Petřík, Coordinator of PIN projects in Afghanistan

A Woman Captured

The wrinkled face of charismatic Marish is ingrained in my memory. She guides us through her unexpected story of modern slavery in Hungary. Thanks to the filmmaker’s exceptional access and the closeness of the camera, we become witnesses to an important moment in Marish’s life.
— Julie Kárová, festival programmer


Besides traditional films, we should also point out that the festival is showing several films in virtual reality. Limbo is a unique art project in which audiences are placed in the shoes of a refugee who has become entangled in the matrix of administrative hell. Guaranteed to be a unique and transcendent cinematic experience.
— Ondřej Moravec, programming director

Cocaine Prison

Generally speaking, it is quite interesting to see how Native American cultures punish those who have been “sentenced”. For example, in Ecuador, where People in Need supports the local native communities and their rights, punishment in the form of imprisonment is almost never applied. Just as unconventional is the “cocaine prison” in Bolivia, where convicts don’t have to wear a uniform and must pay rent for their cells.
However, the most important message brought by this film is that people from marginalised communities are more vulnerable and, consequently, more likely to be imprisoned. It is then harder for them to find a way out, because they do not know how to navigate the legal system, which, in addition, is frequently unfair.
And it is worth noting that this documentary is also very visually appealing.
— Lucia Argüellová, Head of PIN human rights programmes in Latin America

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