The films that you are going to watch from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the finest examples from a cinema that has, from country to country, its own individuality and its own individuals.
The films that you are going to watch from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the finest examples from a cinema that has, from country to country, its own individuality and its own individuals. You will meet films by young and old talents, some with quite a track record, nationally and internationally. Directors with a vision, both in terms of theme and aesthetics.
The selection for this retrospective programme of documentaries from the three Baltic countries have been done with a focus on the last 10 years, omitting not only films from the last century but also films from 2010 and 2011 – some from these years were already shown at ZagrebDox.
Going from the North, Estonia has definitely a sense of humour that could resemble the neighbours in Finland. For sure the films of Manfred Vainokivi (‘Jolly Old Farts’) and Maimik and Jaak Kilmi (‘The Art of Selling’) will make you smile in their own original style, whereas Mark Soosaar ('The Home for Butterflies') and Kersti Uibo ('Still Life With Wife') represent a personal auteur style.
In Latvia it was obvious to bring in a film by Laila Pakalnina, a master of the short documentary, always thinking in images more than in words, as demonstrated beautifully with multi-layered ‘Dream Land’. Her younger colleagues, the cameraman Maris Maskalans and director Andis Miziss, made another visually brilliant man & nature film ‘Roof on the Moonway’, and for two other films presented I chose to go for the theme of art and creation.
Theatre and film director Viesturs Kairiss, reintroduces ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and David Simanis, for me the most shining star in modern Latvian documentary, follows the same Kairiss in his work with Wagner, and gives his own interpretation in ‘Valkyrie Limited’.
Lithuania, the most Southern country of the three, is the most different in a form, that is very much implemented by the well known couple: Audrius Stonys and Arunas Matelis. It is only natural to start the Lithuanian retrospective with their common extravagant hymn to their own country, ‘Flight over Lithuania’, followed by two films by Stonys (‘Alone’ and ‘Uku Ukai’) and one by the Matelis, the masterpiece ‘Before Flying Back to the Earth’.
Oksana Buraja brings the tradition of the two masters forward with ‘Diary’, whereas Giedre Beinoriute represents a new generation with her original film on ‘Grandma and Grandpa’. Three small countries, suff ering the economic crisis of course, but still with strong documentaries in themes and artistic quality. Enjoy!
Tue Steen Müller
Baltic Dox Program Selector
General sponsorHRVATSKI TELEKOM
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With supportGRAD ZAGREB