THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Seven films from Lithuania and Myanmar will be showcased in the ‘Country Focus’ section of 20th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) that will commence on December 4. The Lithuanian films will portray the Baltic nation’s troubled history as a satellite state in the USSR and its present reality. Two Cold War era movies, the 1966-made Jausmai (Feelings) and Grazuole (The Beauty) made in 1969, are listed as sourced from ‘Soviet Union-Lithuania’.
The other films are Kolekcioniere (The Collectress, 2008), Ekskursante (The Excursionist, 2013) and Losejas (The Gambler, 2015). Films from Myanmar, which also has a history of authoritarian rule, typically steer clear of political commentary with light-veined family entertainers. The two movies Red Cotton Silk Flower (2012) and Successor of Merits (2015) represent film industry in the present Myanmar. Feelings, a collaborative effort by directors Alimantas Grikiavicius and Algirdas Dausa, at its core is a family drama set against the bleak backdrop of World War II. The Beauty is the story of a sensitive yet impish child who is elected beauty queen by her playmates, and becomes convinced of her good looks.
The Collectress, a multiple award-winning film by Kristina Buozyte, follows a speech therapist — otherwise incapable of emotion — as she struggles with the rekindling of long-suppressed feelings and anger issues.
The Excursionist chronicles the journey of a young orphaned escapee as she makes her 6,000 km way back to her homeland.
The Gambler, by Ignas Jonynas, is a gripping drama thriller about a gifted, compassionate paramedic with a gambling addiction. Let Pan, one of the two films from Myanmar, traces forbidden love and forced separation, before taking a darker turn with the introduction of a character with a mysterious past. This award-winning feature is one of the highest grossing films in Myanmar’s industry. Successor of Merits by Shwe Pyi Kadone chronicles the first steps of a religious neophyte, which is both a coming-of-age tale and homage to the familiar origin story of Gautama Buddha.