Documentary about photographer Libuše Jarcovjáková wins acclaim at the Berlinale

Festival Achievements Employees

Libuše Jarcovjáková, known for her unconventional photography that challenges traditional norms, has recently gained significant international recognition. She became famous for her photographs of Prague's gay clubs, the Vietnamese community in Czechoslovakia and other topics outside the mainstream.

The Czech documentary 'I'm Not Everything I Want to Be', directed by Klára Tasovská, has stood out at the ongoing Berlinale Film Festival. The film portrays Libuše Jarcovjáková, a Czech photographer and head of the Photography Studio at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, University of West Bohemia. It was showcased in the prestigious Panorama section of the festival and received a long round of applause after the screening in the main hall of the International Cinema. The follow-up discussion with the filmmakers was also very successful.

Libuše Jarcovjáková graduated from FAMU (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague. However, despite her education, she spent most of her working life in blue-collar professions. Following the normalization period, she moved to West Berlin where she worked as a maid. Her photographic work includes events in a Prague gay club, the Vietnamese community in Czechoslovakia, and other topics outside the mainstream. Additionally, she took self-portraits and captured very personal moments.

After returning to Prague in the 1990s, she started teaching at the Secondary Technical School of Graphics. She has only been 'discovered' in the past decade. In 2017, the Czech Association of Professional Photographers named her the Personality of Czech Photography. Two years later, her exhibition at the Arles International Photography Festival in France drew attention and was ranked first in The Guardian´s  selection of the ten most important photographic events of the year. Her work has also been featured in articles by Le Monde and The New York Times. 

Klára Tasovská's documentary provides an intimate and compelling portrayal of Libuše Jarcovjáková, using only photographs and diary entries. The film is based on a selection of three thousand photographs from a total of seventy thousand.  The visual aspect of the film is enhanced by the photographer reading her diary entries. The documentary covers the period from 1968 until the fall of the Berlin Wall. It will be distributed to cinemas in the Czech Republic by Aerofilms. The premiere is scheduled for the beginning of autumn, along with an exhibition of photographs by Libuše Jarcovjáková.








Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art

Martin Bečan

23. 02. 2024