Before Flying Back to the Earth

“Before Flying Back to the Earth"

„Prieš parskrendant į žemę“

(52 min., Documentary, 2005, 35 mm, colour, video, TagTraum, Studio Nominum)

With: Andrius and Edgaras, Rytis, Paula, Martynas, Mantukas, Deimantas, Edgaras, Pranas, Julius and their parents
Directed by: Arunas Matelis
Produced by: Gerd Haag, Arunas Matelis
Director of photography: Audrius Kemezys
Music: Kipras Masanauskas
Editing: Katharina Schmidt
Photos by: Egle Melinauskiene in association with Arunas Matelis, Audrius Kemezys
Sound: Jonas Maksvytis in association with Viktoras Juzonis, Arunas Matelis
Assistant Directors: Mindaugas Mozuraitis, Giedre Beinoriute, Gintas Smilga, Andrius Trukanas
Production manager: Algimante Mateliene
Line producer: Cornelia Volmer
Commissioning editor: Doris Hepp

About the film:

A gracefully expressive journey into the lives of children living with leukemia at a pediatric hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania. The children enter into an alien world, bereft of color and warmth, but populated with kind strangers. Their new toys are invented out of stainless steel, and new friendships are formed in the crucible of the cancer ward.

The film is described as ‘a poetic, unsentimental Lithuanian documentary about the resilience of the human spirit.’ Its laconic style and formal simplicity have been likened to haiku by some critics. ‘Before Flying Back to the Earth’ is the most highly acclaimed Lithuanian documentary film and is considered one of the best documentary films of 2005 in the world.