From Unfinished Tales of Jerusalem

“From Unfinished Tales of Jerusalem” (26 min., Documentary, 26 min., 35mm, 1996, black and white, Nominum).

Directed & produced by: Arunas Matelis

Screenplay by: Arunas Matelis

DOP: Andrius Trukanas, Rimvydas Leipus, Viktoras Radzevicius

Language: Lithuanian, subtitles not needed

Synopsis

The film is like an essay. During spring, the village is soaked in flood. It’s Easter Eve. The villagers are gathering for a strange old ritual in order to watch over The Crucified until the dawn. However, the stillness is being shaken by performers/villagers who are trying to steal The Crucified, as well as a nearby factory noises that remind of space rocket take off site.

The film is based on a strange old pagan tradition, which is still preserved only in one village in Samogitia (a part of Lithuania). The tradition goes back to the archaic space of the magic’s of folk theater.

The tradition ‑ guarding the God on the Easter night ‑ have mixed pagan and Christianity rituals. On that night theatrically dressed up ‘Thieves’ and ‘Warriors’ gather in the church, where ‘warriors’ will guard the statue of the God and ‘thieves’ will try to steal it. When night go Deeper, people and ‘warriors’ will get sleepily and must fight not only with “thieves” but also and with fatigue. And we cannot understand what is it? A strange Samogitian game or mystic possibility to go lot of years back.

AWARDS

Special price in Bornholm TV and Film festival

FESTIVALS

Rotterdam International Film Festival (Premiere)

Oberhausen International Film Festival

Bornholm International Film and TV Festival

International Documentary Film Festival ‘Cinema du Reel’

Berlin TV and Film Festival ‘TV Europe XXI’

San Paulo International Film Festival

Trieste International Film Festival

Tokyo ‘Images Forum’ International Film Festival

Parnu Anthropology International Film Festival

Film was included in film history program about ‘poetic documentary’ in European film college in Denmark.