FROST, a road movie, chilling to the research of the war – Critical

Rokas and Inga, a young couple Lithuanian, are entrusted with a humanitarian mission, drive to the region of Donbas in Ukraine a van full of food and equipment to resupply the army of ukraine. The two volunteers find themselves very quickly left to fend for themselves, in this road movie in a war zone, sparse dating initiation.

FROST is a dive relentless at the heart of the war, at the height of a man, for an attempt to capture a reality often impalpable. Rokas is struck by images of a riot as it looks in a youtube video. A representation that the film tends to confront them with the own experience of young volunteers in lithuania. The director rules out any form of spectacular to deploy its staging in a naturalistic sultry, blurring sometimes the tracks with the documentary (some soldiers are real soldiers, and the sets of the film were shot in the region of Donbass). If the threat of war works is because it interferes in a naturalistic representation of reality.

The use of sequence shots, thus, allows to install a latent danger which weighs on the overall atmosphere of the film. An ineluctable drama is constantly defused, returned continually to the sequence that follows. Sharunas Bartas knows how to play with our nerves by weighing meticulously the duration of each plan, and by instilling a proper rhythm to the film. A feeling of progressive immersion is reflected in the scenes of check point, a pattern recurring from the plot, increasing at each transition the intensity of the voltage. The road that is sinking the convoy looks like a funnel that leads inevitably to the front, a noose that tightens slowly on our two volunteers.It is sometimes difficult to identify the underlying intentions that motivate the characters to undertake such a journey. Rokas never claims to its decisions, it does not answer the questions Inga about their route, or the meaning of their journey. The young man seems to be washed away in a slow inertia that leads up to the doors in the ruins of Europe. The real engine of this company is like a morbid fascination for a war that Rokas, failing to understand, wants to experience.

FROST tells us of the impossibility of grasping the entirety of such an armed conflict. There is always a dichotomy between what is said, what is seen and what is experienced. The meetings that follow allow you to explore different points of view in order to extract a truth that the war is slipping away continually. The meeting with the group of journalists, locked away in a decor which symbolises their mismatch with the reality of the events, highlights the impossibility to name, to identify, and therefore to conceive the essence of this war. And even when the young Lithuanian is found closer to the fighting, he does not see anything other than men who maintain positions in the face of an enemy still invisible.A fascination for images is reflected throughout the film. She wakes up with the youtube video of the first riots in the square Maidan and then in the photos of the journalist interpreted by Vanessa Paradis to finish in videos that turn Rokas with his mobile phone. The director always uses the same process for us of the present, they completely fill the frame to be imposed on us, frontally. There is a desire to capture the elusive, removing, in turn, filters of information, and thus to become its own instrument of measurement.The film is steep, as its name indicates, gladly cold, distressing or even disturbing. Has the image of the character of Inga, the viewer is forced to accompany the plot until the final shocking. In addition, a sequence of the film fails to keep us away for a long time and the timeliness of the filmmaker, recently accused of sexual assault. The proximity factual evidence and the conduct of the scene plunges us into a chilling unease resonating like a terrible confession. A reality that, to put it in perspective with the work, leads us to question the intentions of a filmmaker ready to project us with horror in his death wish.

Aurélien Milhaud

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FROST, a road movie, chilling to the research of the war – Critical
Original title : Frost

Achievement : Sharunas Bartas

Screenplay : Sharunas Bartas, Anna Cohen-Yanay

Main players : Mantas Janciauskas, Lyja Maknaviciute, Andrzej Chyra

Release Date : 28 march 2018

Duration : 2 hours

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