European Film Festival Paris
from 17 to 31 March 2022
European Film Festival Paris
from 17 to 31 March 2022

Motherland / Gimtine

by Tomas Vengris

(Feature, Lithuania/Latvia /Germany /Greece, 2019, 96’, C, En ST) with Matas Metlevski, Severija Janušauskaitė, Darius Gumauskas, Barbora Bareikytė

Motherland

Shortly after the fall of the USSR, 12-year-old Kovas travels to his mother Viktorija’s homeland for the first time. It has been 20 years since she escaped Soviet-Occupied Lithuania and has now returned to reclaim her beloved family estate. When they find the tattered estate occupied by an impoverished Russian family, they must consider how far they are willing to go to keep their dreams intact.


« We never really enter the inner worlds of either Kovas or Viktorija; rather, it feels like we are observers watching them in a laboratory setting, and studying their actions and expressions in order to guess their motivations. There is a strange appeal for the viewer in this approach, and although what happens in the story itself is not particularly exciting or surprising, it is hard to pull back from the screen and the protagonists. Strong performances by all of the main actors certainly help, with Janušauskaitė standing out. » Vladan Petković, cineuropa.org

Tomas Vengris
Tomas Vengris

Tomas Vengris grew up the son of Lithuanian immigrants in Washington, DC. He received his BA from Columbia University. After working as a corporate consultant for a year, he decided to drop everything and pursue his lifelong passion of filmmaking. He began working as a film editor, including collaborations with several internationally acclaimed writer/directors such as Terrence Malick, Kelly Reichardt, and Lena Dunham. Soon after he completed his M.F.A in Directing at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, CA. His AFI Thesis film, the short Kalifornija was a national finalist in the Student Academy Awards, distinguished as one of the best narrative student films in the United States. His following short Squirrel premiered in the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival. Motherland is Tomas’ feature directorial debut. It was shot and edited in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Other movies: Competition Prix Sauvage