The New York Baltic Film Festival continues with a day of documentary screenings. In this event, the Lithuanian film When We Talk About the KGB looks at the difficulties of coming to terms with the grief of injustices suffered under Soviet occupation. It will be preceded by the animated short Running Lights.
The animated short by Gediminas Siauly, a model of color design in its naif science illustration, follows what happens to the corpse of a dead hare after some children bury it in a sandbox — when from death comes renewed life. (11 min. Lithuanian, 2017)
When We Talk About The KGB/Aš už tave pakalbėsiu
Thirty years after being arrested in a Vilnius hotel during the Soviet occupation and imprisoned in isolation for nine months, an antique dealer returns to the site of his capture to understand why. And he’s not the only one still trying to come to grips with the griefs of far too recent history, and what felt like the euphorias of liberation — as co-writers and directors Maximilien Dejoie and Virginija Vareikyte found in their candid interviews, it isn’t only the one-time KGB agents who have had to deal with lingering guilts.
Through seven heart-rending life stories, this documentary looks at the lingering guilt over Soviet crimes, and the euphoria over the victory of freedom. Where the words left out of testimony count as much as the ones spoken, can we recognize a common memory? (73 min. Lithuania, 2015. In Lithuanian with English Subtitles )
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
Gediminas Šiaulys (Running Lights)
Gediminas Šiaulys (b. 1979) is an animation director, visual artist and a co-founder of a studio PetPunk. The artist’s primary areas of interest lie in animation, tactile crafts and various experiments within these fields. This leads to authentic work that is visually and aesthetically challenging, yet peculiarly subtle. Šiaulys with PetPunk are the first Lithuanians to win the “Young Guns” prize by the Art Directors Club (NY). His works gained recognition by world’s leading art and design magazines, conferences, festivals and became a synonym for “New Eastern European Design”. Running Lights is Šiaulys’ first film.
Virginija Vareikytė & Maximilien Dejoie (When We Talk About the KGB)
Virginija Vareikytė (b. 1986) pursued her degree in audiovisual direction from the Lithuanian Theatre and Music Academy. Afterwards she started directing cultural and historical TV documentaries, some of which were successfully presented at international film festivals. Her first feature length documentary Veidas už balso – Virgilijus Kęstutis Noreika (The Face Behind the Voice: Virgilijus Kęstutis Noreika, 2012), a biographical journey in the life of the famous Lithuanian opera singer Virgilijus Noreika was theatrically released in Lithuania and shown on Lithuanian national television. Aš už tave pakalbėsiu (When We Talk About KGB, 2015), which was screened at the Helsinki Documentary Film Festival DocPoint, is her second feature documentary co-directed with the Italian director Maximilien Dejoie, who presented his film The Gerber Syndrome at the Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino pavasaris” in 2013. He was the one who conceived the idea of the new film. The emotional shock experienced at the KGB museum in Vilnius evoked a desire to tell the entire Europe about the brutal atrocities committed by the Soviet regime.
Maximilien Dejoie (b. 1987) started making short films at the age of 13. Since then he has written and directed several successful short films presented at international film festivals. In 2011 Dejoie directed his feature film debut, The Gerber Syndrome, a mockumentary that opened the Sci-Fi-London and was presented in 15 international film festivals. The film was later distributed in Italy and other 45 countries. When We Talk About the KGB, co-directed with Virginija Vareikytė, is Dejoie’s first feature documentary.
2018 New York Baltic Film Festival
The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have been producing motion pictures since 1910. While not as well-known as those in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, their industries have met challenges in one era or another that ultimately only galvanized their creative ambitions for features, documentaries, and animation shorts. Through the screening of both the latest productions and selected classics, the inaugural 2018 New York Baltic Film Festival offers an unprecedented opportunity to see the best in northern European film making.
The New York Baltic Film Festival is presented by Scandinavia House and organized by the Consulate General of Estonia, Consulate General of Lithuania and Consulate of Latvia in New York. Programming support is from the Estonian Film Institute, National Film Center of Latvia, and Lithuanian Film Center. Funding for the festival is courtesy of governments of the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and by the generous donations of members of the Baltic community in New York. Additional support to the festival is from the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, the Consulate General of Finland in New York, and the American Scandinavian Foundation.
SAT—October 20—2 PM
$12 ($7 ASF Members)
Series Pass $90 ($55 ASF Members)