MR LANDSBERGIS. SUGRIAUTI BLOGIO IMPERIJĄ
Lithuania, The Netherlands
My focus is on the period from 3 June 1988, when a group of artists, scientists and intellectuals formed the “Lithuanian Movement for Perestroika”, which later became known as Sajudis, to 6 September 1991 when the Soviet Union formally recognised the independence of the Lithuanian Republic and 17 September 1991, when Lithuania officially became a member of the UN and professor Landsbergis delivered a speech at the UN General Assembly.
Landsbergis was in the epicentre of political life – first as the leader of Sajudis, and then as the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania. He participated in the most dramatic and pivotal events, which changed the destiny of Lithuania, of the Baltic States and, in fact, of the Soviet Union.
Now, 30 years later, we are beginning to get a somewhat different perspective on the political shocks of the 1990s. It is time to reflect on these events, putting aside the emotions and passions, and applying the knowledge and the insights we have today. It is time to understand what really happened to us and what lessons can be learnt from this experience, which had a truly seismic effect on an entire generation.
It is hard to think of a better protagonist/narrator than Professor Landsbergis, who can guide me through the history of Lithuania and the Soviet empire of the turn of the century and – like Virgil – lead me from the darkest corners of the Soviet oppression all the way to the global challenges of contemporary democracy.
This film presented another, purely artistic, challenge for me. For the first time in my career, I spoke to my protagonist. Our “interview” with Vytautas Landsbergis lasted for several precious days and I felt so happy and honoured to have a chance to ask him questions, the answers to which I’ve been seeking for a long time now. These are, sometimes, difficult and painful questions. I think that my insight into the events of the 1990s has become much clearer and deeper, and I’m eager to share this knowledge and this experience with the spectators not only in Lithuania, but also all over the world.
Having always dealt with crowds in my films and trying to keep my distance as a filmmaker, I now have an opportunity to create a portrait of one unique person. Still, this is not just going to be a portrait of a man, but also a portrait of a country and a portrait of an era. Back then, Lithuania gave the world a lesson in freedom. I think it’s time to remind ourselves what a hard lesson it was and how much courage it took to succeed.
In 1997 Loznitsa graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow, where he studied feature filmmaking.
Sergei Loznitsa has been making films since 1996, and by now he has directed 25 award-winning documentaries and four fiction films.
2022 - THE NATURAL HISTORY OF DESTRUCTION, Documentary
2021 - MR LANDSBERGIS, Documentary
2021 - BABI YAR. CONTEXT, Documentary
2019 - STATE FUNERAL, Documentary
2018 - THE TRIAL, Documentary
2018 - DONBASS, Feature
2017 - A GENTLE CREATURE, Feature
2016 - AUSTERLITZ, Documentary
2014 - MAIDAN, Documentary
2012 - IN THE FOG, Feature
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Sergei Loznitsa
Written by: Vytautas V. Landsbergis (junior), Sergei Loznitsa
Main Producer: Uljana Kim
Produced by: Maria Choustova, Sergei Loznitsa
Cinematography: Povilas Baltinas
Editing: Danielius Kokanauskis
Sound: Saulius Urbanavicius
Visual Effects: Jonas Zagorskas, Peteris Sudakovs
Nominations and Awards
- Documentary Selection 2022