Uždaryti (Closed off)
I was born and raised in an independent Lithuania, unlike my family members, who were born when Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. Even though we were born in the same country, we grew up in totally different worlds. Many of my family’s basic freedoms were limited – the totalitarian regime tried to have total control of all aspects of human life.
During the Coronavirus disease pandemic, my freedom got restricted as well and it challenged me to make a film with the tools I have at my disposal. Now that my freedom is limited I am noticing that I didn’t value it as much as I could have. My family who grew up under the Soviet regime in Lithuania could not even dream of such a freedom I had while growing up.
I decided to make a documentary film influenced by a poetic mode of documentary filmmaking which was used broadly by Lithuanians during the Soviet occupation. The creative freedom of authors who were active during the Soviet regime was restricted in many ways. Needless to say, my situation during the period of the Coronavirus disease pandemic can be hardly comparable to what people experienced during the time of the Soviet occupation.
But nevertheless, my freedom to create a film I primarily envisioned was limited as well. I composed my film by combining archive material, found footage, and footage that I could record without leaving my student room. The main characters of my film became my family members because they are the people who grew up during the Soviet regime and have clear memories and opinions about that time.
With this project, I am reconnecting with my Lithuanian roots while reflecting on my situation during the Corona crisis. I wanted to raise awareness about being grateful for the (political) freedom that we have because it is not always granted, and when it is, we can lose it at any moment.