Vytautas Paukste

  • Almantas Grikevicius – Ave, Vita! (1969)

    This philosophical drama offers a psychological reflection of the post-war period. Caesar, a former Nazi concentration camp prisoner, sifts through his traumatic experiences. His memories materialize against the background of the new modern buildings of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and become even stronger when Caesar learns of the death of a friend and fellow traveler. Caesar’s daughter Veronica is a fervent young playwright seeking to immortalize her father’s experience on film. However, her attitude towards her father’s past is quite different from his own. Adopting a boldly non-linear narrative, AVE, VITA! takes the audience on a hallucinatory journey from the war years to the then-contemporary realities of the Soviet era.Read More »

  • Aleksandr Kajdanovsky – Zhena Kerosinschika AKA Kerosene Salesman’s Wife (1988)

    Rich imagery and political allegory enliven an already complex story in this late Soviet-era mystery/drama. In the story, a government investigator has come to town to look into the validity of bribery charges that were brought against an official there. In the meantime, we discover that a twin and his brother have been engaged in a kind of very close warfare. One twin was a medical doctor, and was married to a beautiful woman. The second twin was interested in bedding the wife, and had no feeling for his brother. Thus, he impersonated him in the hospital, and openly engaged in medical malpractice of the grossest sort, resulting in a patient’s death. The first twin lost his career and was forced to support himself by going door to door selling kerosene. The second (and clearly sociopathic) twin, naturally, became an important figure in the activities of his local soviet.Read More »

Back to top button