Dirs: Kristīne Briede and Audrius Stonys | Doc | 90′
This meditative essay from Latvian writer Kristine Bride and Lithuanian director Audrius Stonys captures the essence of the Baltic New Wave through a series of velvet vignettes and short films from the lesser-known filmmakers of the 1960s. Taking each director in turn, this doc compendium shows how – in contrast to the French, English and Italian pioneers of stark social realism and cinéma vérité – these cinematic auteurs were developing a more sensory, romantic and often whimsical approach even though their stylistically diverse work was still primarily concerned with stories of everyday life: raising children, studying nature and providing food for their families and local communities.
Book-ended with a deeply affecting and poetic portrait of childbirth, we experience Baltic bird life and animal welfare, school children reciting their own poetry, folklore in Estonia, bringing home the catch of Baltic herring in Latvia, a Lithuanian marriage ceremony and even a visit to Israel. What makes this so enjoyable is its overwhelmingly tender and often amusing approach to life. Absolutely enchanting and expertly crafted. MT