12th—15th October 2022
Wednesday 12th of October 2022 – Great hall
(152 min) | Ajit Wadikar | 2022 | CZ, EN subtitles
India is still one of the countries where sex-selective abortion is widespread. The fact remains that some couples are willing to accept only a male offspring, as daughters represent a greater financial burden in a system of traditional social norms and do not ensure the continuation of the family line. Although Indian laws prohibit prenatal sex determination, there are still enough health professionals who are willing to perform it illegally for the sake of money. It is this situation that is the starting point of Ajit Wadikar’s directorial debut, who himself worked originally as a doctor. Falling into the thriller genre, the film uses the technique of networked narrative to weave together the personal stories of four characters; at the center of this web lies a very illegal and unethical practice that ends the lives of many girls before they are born.
Wednesday 12th of October 2022 – Third hall – Don’t miss online debate with the director Geetika Narang Abbasi after movie screening!
(94 min) | Geetika Narang Abbasi | 2022 | EN subtitles
The feature-length documentary, premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, traces an important, yet usually overlooked part of Indian pop-culture integrated in the making of the films themselves – look-alikes and imitators of the stars. India’s star system still resembles to some extent that of the golden era of Hollywood, and acclaimed actors have become more than just simply famous people, but literally mythical heroes with considerable influence on their admirers. On the one hand, the doubles pay tribute to them by their performances, on the other hand, they parody them and even star in films making fun of famous hits.
Thursday 13th of October 2022 – Great hall
17:15 Last Film Show
(110 min) | Pan Nalin | 2021 | CZ, EN subtitles
It is the year 2010 and nine year old Samay (Bhavin Rabari) from the Gujarat countryside bribes a projectionist to let them into the backstage of a small cinema, where his passion for the art of film starts budding. However, celluloid film reels are being little by little replaced by digital projections and thus a transformation of Indian film culture is imminent. In his newest film, internationally acclaimed director Pan Nalin uses elements of his own childhood memories and has created a homage to Indian and international cinematography.
Prequel: How to Build a House out of Wreckage and Rags
(8 min) | Bernd Lützeler
This short film by Berlin-based experimental filmmaker Bernd Lützeler is built on a contrasting combination of two historical materials. The image is composed of footage shot on Super 8 home film format by an unknown Indian couple in San Francisco in 1969. The dramatic spoken commentary is taken from an agitational documentary shot in the 1950s in Calcutta by American Christian missionaries. The amateurish footage of a young couple cooking Indian meals and wearing traditional dress in an idyllic, middle-class American suburb is directly challenged by the religiously passionate commentary, which presents the at the time poverty of Calcutta’s streets as the obvious result of the supposedly false and primitive beliefs of the local residents.
20:00 Gangubai Kathiawadi
(152 min) | Sanjay Leela Bhansali | 2022 | CZ, EN subtitles
Gangubai (Alia Bhatt) was sold at a young age by her partner to a brothel in Bombay, where she had to endure many hardships and humiliations. Nevertheless, over time she managed to take control over her life and rise to the top of the hierarchy in the ruthless world of prostitution. She now uses her tenaciousness and good connections with the local mafia to fight for the rights of all women working in the Indian sex industry. In this drama set in the mid-20th century, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, renowned for the visual ornateness of his films, takes inspiration from real-life prostitute and activist Ganga Harjeevandas, who tried to push for the legalisation of prostitution in conservative India.
Friday 14th of October 2022 – Great hall
17:45 The Great Indian Kitchen
(100 min) | Jeo Baby | CZ, EN subtitles
Young dancer (Nimisha Sajayan) enters into an arranged marriage with a teacher from a conservative, traditionalist family (Suraj Venjaramoodu). The moment she moves into his house, she begins a bitter period, as she is expected to transform herself into the ideal housewife as quickly as possible. This social-critical drama, acclaimed by Indian and foreign critics, deliberately tries to differentiate itself from the big Bollywood blockbusters. Its simple story serves only as a necessary basis for a careful observation of the daily running of a household, especially the kitchen. The kitchen itself indeed becomes the very space in which patriarchal social norms, subtly keeping women in the position of those whose primary task is to serve men, are on full display.
20:00 Chandigarh Kare Ashiqui
(117 min) | Abhishek Kapoor | 2021 | CZ, EN subtitles
Fitness coach Manu (Ayushmann Khurrana) is head of a gym, that has been short of clients, until the sexy zumba instructer Maanvi (Vaani Kapoor) starts working there. Even Manu soon falls victim to her charms, starts seeing her and is ready to ask her hand in marriage. However, soon she confesses that she was born a man. Manu cannot seem to accept this reality and his primal instinct is to be angry, paradoxically his love is strong as ever. The film by the acclaimed director Abhisheka Kappor demonstrates, how modern romantic Bollywood comedies seem to be turning away from representing only family ideals to a reflection of provocative social themes.
Saturday 15th of October 2022 – Velký sál
(176 min) | Nagraj Manjule | 2022 | CZ, EN subtitles
Marathi director Nagraj Manjule, famous for his films portraying people from the outskirts of society, portrays in his Bollywood debut the real story of P.E teacher Vijay Barse. Vijay founded at the beginning of the millennium the non-profit-organization Slum Soccer, whose primary goal is to help the children and youngsters from the poorest families thanks to football. Vijay (portrayed by Amitabha Cachcana) is faced with a difficult task: not only to teach his wards how to play soccer, but on the way steer them away from drug addiction, juvenile delinquency, and other similar problems connected to life in rock-bottom poverty.
17:30 Badhaai Do
(147 min) | Harshavardhan Kulkarni | 2022 | CZ, EN subtitles
Policeman Shardul (Rajkumar Rao) has reached the age where the average Indian man has long been married and thus his mother is constantly trying to arrange a wife for him. Shardul can’t seem to tell his family members that he isn’t interested in any woman, as he is gay. Instead, he strikes a deal with Sumi (Bhumi Pednekar), a lesbian teacher currently in a similar situation, to undergo a formal marriage as to have peace and quiet once and for all. Nevertheless, things get complicated when Sumi’s new girlfriend Rimjhim (Chum Darang) moves in, and soon some of the nosy relatives start thinking that something is fishy. The film is thematically and stylistically connected to the comedy drama Baadhai Ho, which was screened at the festival in 2019. Same as its predecessor, it strives to combine a comedic genre with a realistic viewpoint of life in today’s India.
20:30 Laal Singh Chaddha
(159 min) | Abhishek Kapoor | 2021 | CZ, EN subtitles
Laal Singh Chaaddha (Aamir Khan) was born with below average intelligence, but his mother always stressed to him that he was no worse at anything than anybody else. And she was right. Laal eventually succeeds in sports, goes to university, becomes a hero of the Kashmir war, meets many important celebrities and witnesses key events in modern Indian history. One of the most anticipated Bollywood films of the year, this is the official remake of the famous American cult movie Forrest Gump (1994) and has years of preparation behind it. The makers, led by director Advait Chandan, have faithfully stuck to the Hollywood template but have also modernised and adapted it to Indian realities.
* All movies contains Czech and English subtitles.
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