Peace To Us In Our Dreams
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In his eighth feature film, Sharunas Bartas bravely focuses on the most important women in his life, observes them with exceptional regard, attempts to explain the subtlety of emotions, and relies on the power of thoughtful conversation.
“I like words. I know their meaning. That is why I set particularly high standards for the words I speak and employ,” says Bartas.
This is undoubtedly the director’s most personal film, where acting, reality and unseen archival footage from his personal collection intertwine. Bartas once again casts himself as the lead, stepping in front of cinematographer Eitvydas Doškus’s camera. The filmmaker’s first leading man role was in “Eastern Drift”, a film he won the Lithuanian Silver Crane award for directing. Bartas is joined by his daughter Ina Marija Bartaite and his real-life partner, violinist Lora Kmieliauskaite, both in their debut roles. Also appearing in the film is Russian actress Klaudia Korshunova, who made the trip to Lithuania just to shoot one scene. Korshunova previously earned the Silver Crane award for her role in Bartas’s “Eastern Drift”.
The late actress Yekaterina Golubeva, Ina Marija’s mother and frequent Bartas lead who passed away in 2011, also briefly appears in the film, during the screening of an old home video.
It is summer in a country home near Vilnius. Visitors from the city are greeted by a big, friendly dog. A 50 year-old Man (Bartas), tired from his daily routine and looking to recharge, invites his teenage Daughter (Bartaite), who is hoping for a stronger paternal bond after her Mother’s death, to spend the weekend together.
The two are joined by an ambitious violinist and the man’s Companion (Kmieliauskaite) after her failed recital. The young woman, lost between important decisions, fosters strong feelings and attempts to save her broken relationship, but cannot find joy in her life.
The beautiful Daughter more and more frequently visits her older childhood Friend (Edvinas Goldsteinas), who she hadn’t seen in a long time. She likes having honest conversations, riding bicycles, walking in the forest and looking for love beneath the trees with the mysterious young man, who knows all the country-side residents and their habits, hobbies, sins, fallacies, and dreams.
The young man, who has taken to stealing, runs off with a shotgun carelessly left behind by some hunters. He is fearless, goes on the run from the police, and starts observing people through the loaded gun’s scope.
Bartas is the only director from an independent Lithuania to participate in the main competition programme at the Venice Film Festival. There, his film “Freedom” (2000) received the award for Best Film on the Relationship Man-Nature. Bartas made a memorable debut in the Forum of New Cinema section at the 42nd Berlin Film Festival with his drama “Three Days” (1992), which received Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Special Mention and FIPRESCI Prize – Honorable Mention, also later getting nominated for the European Film Award as Best Young Film.
Bartas, the most important ambassador of Lithuanian cinema abroad, was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes two years in a row with his films “Few of Us” (1996) and “The House” (1997). No other Lithuanian director has managed to repeat such an achievement since.