Film Archive

A Trip Across Misty Meadows

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1973
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Lithuanian Film Studio
Henrikas Šablevičius
Romualdas Fedaravičius
Kornelijus Matuzevičius
Regina Lazdauskienė
Vidmantas Puplauskis, Henrikas Šablevičius
A farewell to a slow, narrow-gauge train that recalls the idyllic times of independent Lithuania. The story was originally to be told through silent images only, but following preview screenings the filmmaker was instructed to add a voiceover. The criticism that “the film’s central hero cannot be a railway” led to the addition of a “human character” – the train’s overseer Povilas. Despite this, Šablevičius’s film remains a shining example of the Lithuanian poetic documentary thanks to its unique cinematic language and visual allegories conveying a deep connection to the past, something that the architects of the “new life” struggled to erase.
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2018
Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things) Aistė Žegulytė

For animals killed in a hunt death is the start of an existence as objects. Mounted to look lifelike they are being exhibited – and looking at you.

Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things)

Documentary Film
Lithuania
2018
69 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Giedrė Burokaitė
Aistė Žegulytė
Gediminas Jakubka
Vytautas Katkus
Mikas Žukauskas
Aistė Žegulytė, Titas Laucius
The trees are covered in thick snow. A peaceful group of hunters tramp through the forest. At night they celebrate their kill. A group of men sworn to their own ethics of the dignity of all creatures. It’s only in the death of the opposite they aimed at that they find respect for the existence of the killed game, for which this violent end of life is the beginning of an existence as an object. Mounted and worked on with extreme skill until they once more resemble the vibrant “before”, the carcasses are processed and made suitable for the human eye and its desire to feast on things. Former but never quite gone deer, muskrats and birds look at you.

The line between the life and death of these animals seems to get blurred in the course of the film, only to be drawn even more strongly. The adoration of the wilderness of tamed nature in rituals of presentation made for humans clearly follows different logics than the comfortable and presentable one of keeping pets. Dead eyes do not look back.

Fabian Tietke


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

Autumn Snow

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1992
18 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Dalia Cibauskaitė
Valdas Navasaitis
Valdas Naudžius, Arko Okk
Vida Buckutė
Valdas Navasaitis
Vidimantas Kazlauskas
The first snow of autumn and the last minutes of an earthling coincide. A poetic-impressionist study on fall, nature, and life. The end comes like winter itself: organic, cyclical – and sublime.

How We Played the Revolution

Documentary Film
France,
Lithuania
2011
72 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė
Giedrė Žickytė
Viktoras Diawara, Vytautas Bikus
Audrius Kemežys, Eitvydas Doškus, Rimvydas Leipus
Giedrė Žickytė, Samuel Lajus, Laurence Generet
Giedrė Žickytė
Vytis Puronas
In 1984, the beginning of perestroika in the USSR, a group of architects decided to organise a band for a New Year’s party joke in Kaunas, Lithuania. What started as a joke grew into the “Singing Revolution”: the new exciting rock band “Antis” became famous by word of mouth. Their imposing make-up and props, stylised show and lyrics created a pervasive caricature of Soviet propaganda, perfectly discrediting the absurdity of the Soviet reality.

In Memory of a Day Gone By

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1990
39 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

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Šarūnas Bartas
Valdas Naudžius, Artūnas Leita
Nina Romanovskaja, Ariadna Gruodienė
Šarūnas Bartas
Romualdas Fedaravičius
Šarūnas Bartas’s documentary is one of the first works by the “break generation” of Lithuanian filmmakers who debuted in the 1990s. Marginalised members of society and people with disabilities, invisible in earlier documentaries, came to be principle characters in the new generation’s works, while settings shifted from the romanticised countryside to grimy cities. The shift in aesthetics corresponded to deep changes in the country and represented an attempt by young filmmakers to come to grips with the new reality and find their place in it.

Nijolė

Documentary Film
Italy,
Lithuania
2018
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė, Max Chicco
Sandro Bozzolo
Lina Lapelytė
Sandro Bozzolo
Silvija Vilkaitė, María Cecilia Reyes
Maria Cecilia Reyes, Sandro Bozzolo
Vytis Puronas
Antanas Mockus was Mayor of Bogotá, several times Colombian presidential candidate, and voted into the senate in 2018. But this film is not about the politician, but about his 88-year-old mother, the idiosyncratic artist Nijolė Šivickas. She has consistently protected her private life from the public eye, agreeing only reluctantly to media interviews. Even her son knew almost nothing about her Lithuanian childhood. In her artistic practice, but also emotionally, she had turned her back on her homeland.

Now Nijolė has been invited to give a workshop on the occasion of a great retrospective in Vilnius. The film follows her and Antanas on this journey. It’s basically a son’s look at a mother whose independence and critical social spirit were his constant inspiration. Sandro Bozzolo and his team approach their protagonists with restraint, adapt the montage to their rhythm and focus on the rooms of their creative work, on Nijolė’s meetings with Antanas and their journey home together, which moves both deeply. The son takes his mother by the hand, as does this story of an outer and inner journey with the audience. Which events continue to shape one’s life and which had better be forgotten?

Annina Wettstein


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize

Country Focus Lithuania 2018
No Foe Can Scare Us Edmundas Zubavičius

In director Edmundas Zubavičius’s filmed feuilleton, we observe the absurd reality unfolding in the rehearsals for an imitated nuclear attack of “an enemy behind the border”.

No Foe Can Scare Us

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1978
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Edmundas Zubavičius
Romualdas Fedaravičius
Romas Damulis
Edmundas Zubavičius
In director Edmundas Zubavičius’s filmed feuilleton, we observe the absurd reality unfolding in the rehearsals for an imitated nuclear attack of “an enemy behind the border”. The characters of the film are the inhabitants of a small village in Samogitia. They are participating in civil protection exercises and preparing for a civil defence competition. However, although the danger of a new war has escalated and the civil protection exercises have been organized regularly, apparently no one has taken the threat seriously.
Country Focus Lithuania 2018
Sensitivity as Bread Edmundas Zubavičius

The Kaunas Veterinary Academy is at the centre of one of the early films by Edmundas Zubavičius. The observation of the everyday life there reveals a longing for human empathy.

Sensitivity as Bread

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1979
10 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Lithuanian Film Studio
Edmundas Zubavičius
Donatas Buklys
Vidmantas Kazlauskas
The Kaunas Veterinary Academy is at the centre of one of the early films by the particularly productive Lithuanian documentary filmmaker Edmundas Zubavičius. The observation of the everyday life there reveals a longing for human empathy – almost as if it was a prayer. The refined connection between image and sound is offset by the poetic cinematic language. Sequences of realistic scenes encourage you to contemplate the link between man and nature.
Country Focus Lithuania 2018
Ten Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus Arūnas Matelis

This film is considered to be a keynote piece for the post-Soviet generation of Lithuanian filmmakers who rejected straightforward declarativity.

Ten Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1990
11 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lithuanian Film Studio, Studio “Nominum”
Arūnas Matelis
Faustas Latėnas
Rimvydas Leipus
Danutė Cicėnaitė
Vidmantas Kazlauskas
This film is considered to be a keynote piece for the post-Soviet generation of Lithuanian filmmakers who rejected straightforward declarativity and immersed themselves in the silent observation of reality. Arūnas Matelis traces the beginnings of post-Soviet transformation not in the main squares in Vilnius but in the daily life of the inhabitants of Užupis – a historical quarter of the old town of Vilnius. The film, awarded at the Oberhausen, Bornholm and Pärnu film festivals, was also screened at the Cannes “International Critics’ Week” in 2005.
Country Focus Lithuania 2018
The Dreams of Centenarians Robertas Verba

Ironically, “The Dreams of Centenarians” was submitted as a feature for the centenary of Lenin’s birth. It was the simplest way to secure authorisation to film old people (some of whom were actually a hundred years old).

The Dreams of Centenarians

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1969
17 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lithuanian Film Studio
Robertas Verba
Algimantas Apanavičius
Algirdas Tarvydas, Robertas Verba
Rimtautas Šilinis
Ironically, “The Dreams of Centenarians” was submitted as a feature for the centenary of Lenin’s birth. It was the simplest way to secure authorisation to film old people (some of whom were actually a hundred years old). The filmmaker also satisfied the Soviet censors’ requirement to focus on working-class people rather than the intelligentsia – the centenarians of the film are indeed ordinary Lithuanian country people. Still, ideologically-minded critics of the time objected to the film’s choice of “unsightly” subjects (a transgression against the USSR’s cult of youth and fitness) and “lack of optimism.”
Country Focus Lithuania 2018
The Earth of the Blind Audrius Stonys

Audrius Stonys, another “break generation” filmmaker, won international recognition with “The Earth of the Blind”, which came to serve as the generation’s manifesto.

The Earth of the Blind

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1992
26 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Studio “Kinema”
Audrius Stonys
Vidmantas Bartulis
Rimvydas Leipus
Danutė Cicėnaitė
Viktoras Juzonis
Audrius Stonys, another “break generation” filmmaker, won international recognition with “The Earth of the Blind”, which came to serve as the generation’s manifesto and was lauded in Lithuania and abroad. In 1992 the film was awarded the European Film Academy’s Felix Prize for Best Documentary. Stonys was a disciple of documentary filmmaker Henrikas Šablevičius, and the latter’s influence is present in “The Earth of the Blind”, a picture that weaves the new generation’s “silent” aesthetics and novel protagonists into the visual poetics of their predecessors.
Country Focus Lithuania 2018
The Field of Magic Mindaugas Survila

“The Field of Magic” is a documentary poem about people living for over two decades in the Būda forest near the abandoned Kariotiškės dump, 40 kilometres from Vilnius.

The Field of Magic

Documentary Film
Lithuania
2011
61 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Jurga Gluskinienė, Giedrė Beinoriūtė
Mindaugas Survila
Mindaugas Survila
Danielius Kokanauskis
Saulius Urbanavičius
This is the first film by director Mindaugas Survila, originally trained as a biologist, to tell a story of people, not animals. “The Field of Magic” is a documentary poem about people living for over two decades in the Būda forest near the abandoned Kariotiškės dump, 40 kilometres from Vilnius. The result of four year's work, the film captures the perspective of the dump dwellers by telling the story of a disintegrating community: its uniqueness, daily rhythm, peculiar way of life, everyday joys and sorrows.

The Juggler

Animated Film
France,
Lithuania
2018
11 minutes
subtitles: 
No

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Agnė Adomėnė, Delphine Schmit
Skirmanta Jakaitė
Biosphere
Skirmanta Jakaitė
Skirmanta Jakaitė
David Vincent
In juggling the flying objects seem connected by an invisible thread; the same kind on which these stories are threaded, in which someone strings pinned spiders in a chain, someone else is carried through a dark forest in a box. Then there is the strand of muscles and intestines from which flows a red scarf that a girl wears round her neck. Mysterious, uncanny goings-on – seemingly insane, but quite normal.

Carolin Weidner
Country Focus Lithuania 2018
The Old Man and the Land Robertas Verba

One of the iconic early examples of Lithuanian poetic documentary cinema. The hero of Verba’s film, a white-moustached old man, tells his life story.

The Old Man and the Land

Documentary Film
Lithuania
1965
17 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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Lithuanian Film Studio
Robertas Verba
Algimantas Apanavičius
Vladimiras Kostiugovas, Robertas Verba
Vytenis Imbrasas
Grigorijus Kanovičius, Vytautas Rimkevičius, Robertas Verba
One of the iconic early examples of Lithuanian poetic documentary cinema. Documentaries and newsreels of the time were expected to show country folk rejoicing in their improving Soviet existence and in the new achievements of collective farming, their experiences usually conveyed by voiceover narration. The hero of Verba’s film, a white-moustached old man, is different. By allowing his protagonist to speak for himself, to narrate his own life story, including its woes, and to talk about his children and the love he feels for his wife, Verba created a unique profile of a genuine man from an old Lithuanian (as opposed to Soviet) village.