TUE—May 2—7 PM, free
On May 2 in commemoration of 700 years of the founding of Vilnius, join us for a screening and film talk with director Mindaugas Meškauskas on A Nineteenth-Century Photographer’s Legacy /XIX a. fotografo palikimas. The documentary explores the life of celebrated Vilnius photographer Juzefas Čechavičius/Józef Czechowicz, whose personality was intertwined with Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian identities. A true European, his work has become part of the cultural heritage of several nations.
Was Juzefas Čechavičius a genius or an opportunist, an artist or a businessman, or simply a modern artist who felt the pulse of his time? In this story of Vilnius’ most famous photographer of the 19th century, viewers are drawn into a narrative based on a rich archive of images and interviews, whose protagonist appears as a silent character within the reconstructed environment of his surroundings.
Through action scenes and CGI, we see events such as the destruction of Vilnius’ Baroque and Gothic buildings at the behest of the Tsarist Russian government, giving context to the scale and place of Čechavičius’s photographs. The narrative also takes us back to the origins of photography, and introducing viewers to the studios and processes of the 19th century.
About the Director
Mindaugas Meškauskas is an award-winning Lithuanian TV director and screenwriter who has studied historic and alternative photography techniques, focusing primarily on wet plate collodion. For over 25 years, he has worked with major Lithuanian TV channels to create, challenge, provoke and tell compelling stories that attract and engage viewers. He has produced some of the biggest music shows including X Factor, Lithuania’s Got Talent, M.A.M.A. Annual Music Award, as well as cultural documentaries and reality shows.
Interested in photography and its methods since his teen years, Meškauskas has studied historic and alternative techniques, eventually discovering the singular appeal of wet-plate collodion and historical photographic methods, a stark contrast to fleeting, temporary TV imagery.