category The Diaries of Jonas Mekas






Jonas Mekas

Original Title


Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR is a movie like no other seen before. Stretching across almost five hours, it documents – using only news fragments and interviews filmed by Mekas for almost two years in his living room while being broadcast on TV – the way in which the American mass media reflected the arduous process through which Lithuania separated, at the beginning of the 1990s, from the former Soviet Union. Although the ending is known to spectators from the very beginning, the film operates as a thriller in which the statements made by the Soviet and Lithuanian officials – the former threatening, the latter brave – produce a classical plot in which David fights and succeeds in defeating Goliath. Leaving aside the novel structure, the documentary’s distinctive quality is given also by the diary type interventions, the sound coming from the television is often interrupted by daily life dialogues that take place in the filmmaker’s apartment, which, although vaguely comprehensible, lengthen the significations of these historical events and individualize them.

awards and festivals

2009: Rotterdam IFF