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March 14th–20th, 2016 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, Cinema Elvire Popesco, Universitatea Națională de Muzică / the 6th edition

Quinzaine Cannes: Sharunas Bartas

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Quinzaine Cannes: Sharunas Bartas

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The plot, if there is any, and Bartas is not particularly keen to reveal its details, revolves around an intellectual from the city (played by Bartas himself) who takes his daughter (Bartas’s own daughter, Ina Marija Martaite) and his partner, a violinist (reallife violinist Lora Kmielliauskaite) to his country house for a summer breather. Or is it much more? [...] None of the film’s characters has a name, just to indicate how emblematic they are supposed to be, but they are all in a state of personal crisis which they are trying desperately, but not very successfully, to make sense of. Locked in tight closeups, Bartas’s characters are constantly trying to reach out to each other in their own ways, and finding it difficult either to express their feelings and their fears or to provide the advice they are expected to give. They seek someone to lean on, and find answers to questions they don’t even know how to ask. [...] Wrapped in magical images of a peaceful, calm nature disturbed only by the presence of man, this looks very much like a painful, meditative and sad reflection on life from the point of no return for a character just like the one Bartas chose to play himself. (Dan Făinaru, Screen Daily)

'Humans always doubt,' says a father to his daughter. 'Just imagine if suddenly everything (were) clear. What would you do?' What indeed? Such questions serve as a substitute for drama in Sharunas Bartas’ Peace to Us in Our Dreams, an oldschool drama in which a man, his daughter and his violinist companion openly ponder Big Themes during a country getaway. Bartas casts himself in the lead, a father who is distant from his daughter. He shows her an old homemovie in which she can be glimpsed with her mother on a merrygoround. The girl is played by Ina Marija Bartaite, Bartas’ actual daughter, and the mother by Katia Golubeva, Bartaite’s actual mother, who died in 2011 — all of which suffuses the film with a sense of loss that persists as the three living characters retreat to the country. The season is summer, but the natural lighting often suggests a wintry, twilight gray. [...] Lenser Eitvydas Doshkus captures some stunning silhouettes, and there are times in Peace to Us in Our Dreams when it’s possible to be transfixed simply by fog, blowing trees or raindrops on lapping water. (Ben Kenigsberg, Variety)