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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2020. 68th Edition  > Festival Diary > Dusk falls on Lithuanian freedom
Festival Diary » Official Selection
Dusk falls on Lithuanian freedom
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

After the screening of his film In the Dusk yesterday, the Lithuanian director Šarūnas Bartas explained that this was the first time that he had dealt with his country’s past in a film – he usually tackled contemporary themes – and confessed that he had always been a bit afraid of talking about Lithuania losing its independence: “I ‘m closely connected to the mid-20th century and we were in the cage of the Soviet Union for a long time. It’s very painful for me and maybe it’s too close for me to have made it earlier.”

Despite this he said that he hadn’t wanted to make a pseudo-patriotic film; what he aimed to do was to provide a broader perspective of how Lithuania ended up behind the Iron Curtain after the war.
“It was a grey season for nearly 50 years. Nothing was rebuilt. No one in the West can imagine how it was. It was very present and I felt it very strongly when I was a boy,” Bartas pointed out. Producer Janja Kralj revealed that the film had divided public opinion when it was premiered in Lithuania. Some people were uncomfortable with the fact that it didn’t depict the partisans in a traditional heroic light, while others were impressed that it provided a more nuanced portrayal of events.


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