This documentary stands prominently among Janek’s extensive filmography, where the Czech director is known to point his camera toward often discriminated and overlooked subjects. THE UNSEEN focuses attention on the life of children in a Czech school for the blind. With a sensitive eye for movement and a keen ear for sound, Janek weaves together mundane observations that enter the realm of the sublime.
At a blind school in the Czech Republic, the children exuberantly show off their remarkable talents – as musicians, as radio announcers, as daredevil bike riders and most extraordinary of all, as photographers. Why take pictures of a world you can’t see? Well, to capture memories, of course, that sighted people can describe back to you. Miroslav Janek’s documentary is a true eye-opener about the resilience, adaptability and creativity of children, faced with whatever challenges the world throws their way. “A small wonder…takes hold of the heart immediately and never loosens its grip…brilliantly conceptualized and immaculately crafted piece of filmmaking" (Variety). In Czech with English subtitles.
We’re all different. Some of us are tall, some short. Some dance to hip-hop while others prefer Irish step. Embracing our differences illuminates what make us unique, and the ways we can use our differences to bring us closer together. These films hail from an assortment of countries, from the USA all the way to Australia, and have a lot to teach us about embracing what makes us, well, us! Kids of all ages will discover what it means to accept and love each of our differences as they delve into the diverse people, cultures, and stories that make up our world. Programming for Vol. 2 includes: (Ex)Changed (Angad Singh, USA, 2011, 19 mins.), A Tree & a Flower (Tomoko Oguchi, USA, 2010, 5 mins.), Au Coeur Del'hiver (Isabelle Favez, Switzerland, 2012, 7 mins.), Brushstrokes (Ken Kimmelman, USA, 1990, 5 mins.), Frogs, Toads & Love (Barbara Parks/Maggie Kraisamutr, USA, 2006, 3 mins.), Left-Handed (Baoqi Ye, Canada, 2002, 10 mins.), Play Lunch (Cassandra Nguyen, Australia, 2011, 9 mins.), My Name Is Tuan (Nguyen-Anh Nguyen, Canada, 2008, 6 mins.), The Stubborn Mule & the Remote Control (Helio Villela Nunes, Brazil, 2010, 15 mins.), and Tomboy (Barb Taylor, Canada, 2008, 13 mins.).
With this collection, curators Ernest Larsen and Sherry Millner have successfully established a new history of film as political resistance. Vol. 1 is made up of four distinct programs with 26 short-form experimental non-fiction films. These radical global narratives span from 1914 to the early 21st century and truly represent the diversity in approaches to documentary filmmaking. The collection has been put together for both political and educational purposes, to offer film and media makers and scholars a chance to review unaccountably under-appreciated works of film, video, animation -- from France to Chiapas, from Serbia to China, to Nigeria -- works that propose various strategies of resistance to power. Don't watch documentary film without it!
Curated by Ernest Larsen & Sherry Millner---France/Uruguay/Iran/Philippines/Mexico/USA/Taiwan/Egypt/Yugoslavia/Israel/Australia/Austria/Algeria/Russia/Canada/Rhodesia/Germany/Palestine/---1917-2013