Is It Easy to be Young?
86’, colour, Latvia, 1986
The film starts with rock concert in a small Latvia town Ogre. It wouldn’t be special at all but back in the 80-ies when Latvia was still a part of the Soviet Union, it was not allowed for teenagers to behave like their counterparts in the West. Young people were not allowed to burst out into emotions and behave freely. But they did. Even more. On their way back after the concert, teenagers vandalised the train carriage. They had to be punished just to threaten all the others. Out of 2000 youngsters 7 were put on trial, one of them (the only one who was of age) was sentenced with three years in prison.
The film openly speaks about the life of young people under the Soviet regime – their conflict with grown-ups, parents, teachers and the society, about drugs and the meaning of life. The film is a masterpiece in its expression and openness.
Gorbachov once called it “The first bird of Perestroika”.
Director Juris Podnieks
Produced by Riga Film Studio
73’, colour, Estonia, 2007
How did it happen that 83% of Belarus population voted for Lukashenko in elections of the president in March 2006? The film tracks the opposition struggle during few post-election days in Belarus. Using a lot of archive material imprinted in the course of Lukashenko’s governing author draws a parallel between history and recent days. The movie shows the falsehood of the official propaganda and the ambiguous, sometimes polar, attitude of simple people. Assembling together all the debris of the opinions, comparing different historical events, jeering at dictator’s arrogance and manners, admiring courage and dedication of the young generation, the feature approaches the understanding of what is really going on in the center of Europe.
And one more thing – the director’s sarcastic comment throughout the film does not make you bored!
Authorities persecuted director Yury Khashchavatski, already since his first movie on Lukashenko – An Ordinary President* (1996). They still watch him. All production was done underground.
Director Yury Khashchavatski
Produced by Baltic Film Production OÜ
Distributed by Deckert Distribution
Rape of Europe
27’, colour, 35 mm, Kaupo Filma, Latvia, 1998
Artist. Painter. Enfant terrible of the former Soviet petty-bourgeois society. Single mother of three. Each of her children, aged 4 to 20, has a different father. Aija Zariņa is 43, free and happy at all times and in all situations. Young, beautiful, photogenic, temperamental, talkative and witty.
Director: Askolds Saulītis
Scriptwriter: Helēna Demakova
Cinematographer: Dāvis Sīmanis
Producer Guntis: Trekteris
45’, colour, 35 mm, Studio Litnek, Lithuania, 2004,
“Countdown” is a documentary about cinema and theatre director, actor Augustinas Baltrusaitis who was passed by the destiny into the blank silence. The film is about the bounds of mind, the impact against an inexorably running time.
Script & Director: Audrius Stonys
Cinematographer : Vladas Naudžius
Producer: Arūnas Stoškus
54’, colour, Digital Betacam, Production companies Vesterholt Film (Denmark), Quadrat Film (Russia), 1999
Russian Avant-garde tells the story behind the paintings, the passions of the artists who created them, and of the history of the country condensed on canvas. This documentary reveals the sufferings and joys of the Russian avant-garde artists who gave the world a completely new view on art.
The film revolves around the three great names: Malevich, Filonov and Tatlin, as well as Nikolaj Punin, the critic and first post-revolution commissar of the Hermitage and The Russian Museum, who supported them.
The film consists of unique documentary footage and never-seen-before archive material, as well as the paintings themselves, with Punin’s letters and diaries creating a coherence throughout.
Director: Alexander Krivonos
Script: Felix Lazarev
Cinematographer: Sergej Dubrovskij
Producers: Sonja Vesterhol, Akexander Krivonos