Transformed through film

Ji.hlava: Inspiration Forum, a unique experience uncommon for most film festivals, brings scientists, politicians, artists, social reformers, and journalists together with documentary filmmakers and attending public to discuss complex problems of today’s world.
Petr Fischer
Czech journalist. He was the main commentator for the Czech daily Lidové noviny, worked for the Czech BBC, and headed both the cultural sections of Hospodářské noviny and Czech TV for three years. His television program Konfrontace Petra Fischera aired on Czech Television. Between 2016 and 2018 he served as editor-in-chief of Czech Radio Vltava.
Published date: October 20, 2019
Inspiration Forum-2019-transformed through film-Ji.hlava-featured

Since the very beginning, the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival has been held under the motto, «Thinking through Film». This motto is, in a way, a provocation that implicitly indicates that thinking in a public space has been sidelined, or somehow lacking, and has to be revived. But can thinking that has retired, has gone hidden, be replaced by film – not primarily a discourse providing a framework to our thinking, but a sequence of images, a compact visual structure?

Image as configuration

The difference between conceptual thinking and thinking through film, through image, is aptly described by Czech philosophe Miroslav Petříček in his book, Thinking in/through/with Images. Concepts are successive, following up on one another, developed in a discussion, whereas an image makes the world prominent here and now at once. Concepts, too, suddenly become visible in all of their implications and an image is then something of a configuration, not a text that can simplify what is complex; an image as a configuration allows for immediate insight into the unity of things. An image thus becomes an inspiration for the dispute that strives to somehow untangle, capture or conceive the experience of immediacy.

Inspiration Forum-climageddon-MTR
Climageddon, Woman in Change, Re:Democracy, God & Co., Made in China, and How Not To Be Afraid are the are the main topics of this year’s Ji.hlava Inspiration Forum.

As explained in the aforementioned book by Miroslav Petříček, this movement from image to dispute, or back, is very tricky, as it becomes clear that in a certain sense it is impossible because the line between the image and the word or concept cannot be crossed. Something always remains that cannot be completely transferred from one world into the other. The fact that these two methods of testifying or perceiving the world cannot be reduced does not mean that these two worlds should not be in mutual communication. On the contrary, if they are supplemental to each other, i.e. if they factually complement each other (not externally, but internally; …


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