Verba and the Things

Verba and the camera

They say, when a person does not see the camera pointing at him, his behaviour is natural. Of course, it is true, but I never film in secret. I first attempt to become familiar with people, to make them familiar with the equipment. And when they stop looking at me, when they forget the camera – that’s when I start to work.

Robertas Verba,

film director, cameraman

Verba and people

Verba had this quality to blend in with people. He would become a local anywhere he went. He did not look like an artist. If he went to the countryside, he looked like a country man. If not for his filming equipment, no one would be able to say he was an arts person. This used to gain him immense trustworthiness. People were not afraid of him. They used to treat him almost like a relative. And on his part, he would never behave as a director. He would come and visit them many times before the filming, speak with them like a real relative. That’s why people are so true and sincere in his films – they know who they are speaking with. It was crucial to Verba’s way of working. Back in those days, no one worked this way.

Grigory Kanovich,


Verba and cinema

It is not often that the very first film of a director is a success. And it is truly rare for this first work to turn the entire cinematograph to the new ways of making. The very first born of Robertas Verba, his film The Old Man and the Land had this impact to the Lithuanian documentary cinema.

Laimonas Tapinas,

writer, film critic

Verba and Lithuania

I think a small nation needs a great joy. And sometimes we lack it. Whereas Verba… Even though his films were not widely screened, but in that small territory, the Lithuanian Film Studio on Birute street, he would create the feeling that this is Lithuania, and such are the people of it. And I thank him for that.

Grigory Kanovich,

writer, scriptwriter

Verba and the countryside

The old country huts with orchards and gardens, the old people, who seem to be living there eternally, and vividly speaking their dialects… It seemed that what we see on the screen is exactly what we call Lithuania. Whenever I find myself in the countryside, I still feel as if I walked into a film by Verba. And those films – they are more like chunks of life rather than cinema.

Ruta Oginskaite,

journalist, film critic

Verba and work

He used to work like an oxen. If you wrote him a script, he wouldn’t want you to disappear, but to continue working together. He used to say, well, you only take the money and don’t help me at all. Alone, a person cannot do a thing in cinema. He knew how to mobilize others too.

Albinas Sukelis,

narrator, scriptwriter

Verba and health

During his visit to America, Robertas had some dollars. He was meant to spend a few thousand and do the CT scan to examine his health. But he bought video cameras. And kept on growing a bump under his neck – a lymph node weighing several kilograms. An unicum. I’m not sure, but I think that bump of his is now stored in the medicine museum.

Algirdas Tarvydas,

cameraman, film director

Verba and the departure

On his funeral, only his close friends gathered. And it was properly pouring with rain. And most likely, no one of the government attended. Even though one of the most amazing artists of the country, a genius has stopped his work to depart. But maybe it is the way an artist must depart – in the rain, without the government.

Arunas Matelis,

film director, producer

Robertas Verba with writer Ieva Simonaitytė. Photo: Algirdas Tarvydas

"Bridges of Time" trailer

Still from “Bridges of Time"