For his first feature film, MIRACLE, the director of Lithuanian Egle Vertelyte evokes the end of the communist era in his country, thanks to the portrait endearing to a woman.
It has not often the opportunity to talk about a movie Lithuanian, especially as it refers to the history of Lithuania. It’s done with a MIRACLE. The story is set in 1992, the time history of the breakup of the Soviet Union and the bloc of its socialist republics, which marked the beginning of independence of Lithuania. And what better than a parallel with one of its inhabitants so that the audience understands the best behind-the-scenes and issues of this transformation? In other words the passage of a society and a collectivist system to a more freedom and a possible liberalism. But learning the every man for himself after so many years of collective forced is not so simple and a time of adaptation and learning is necessary. It is the choice of the director Egle Mikulionyte, who delivers here his first feature film. And it is rather successful, in particular thanks to the offbeat and burlesque that it is working to give the situations pretty tough going through heroin.
Irina (Egle Mikulionyte) directs with firmness in the hog farm collective, of which it holds shares, as all the inhabitants of the village. But the pigs were no longer selling and the employees are over paid. Irina is in the image of the environment in which it operates : gray, sad, cold and hopeless. The dominant colors of the film, as well as those of the grounds of the few dresses or sofas, reinforce the impression of no-man’s land that is rural, at the end of a country in crisis. Many families are aware of the misery and the men drown in the alcohol.
Cohabiting with a husband drunk from morning to night, Irina is a brave woman with evil child who drowns, in turn, into the work. Proud of the rearing father that she sees yet going downhill, she finds more comfort with his animals than with people, who at best ignore, at worst him speak badly. All go to church, but she does not. By the way, it is a true happiness to see Daniel Olbrychski (The Drum) that interprets the priest is perplexed, on which Irina will be able to count to the support at a delicate time in his life.
MIRACLE paints a beautiful portrait of a lonely woman, courageous, and endearing in a historical context quite misunderstood.
Then when landed Bernardas (Vyto Rugynis), a living symbol of theAmerican Dream, it is a real breath of life that rushes through the village. In memory of his parents, who lived on the land where was built the farm, Bernardas bought the farm and the units of all. He becomes the saviour. And there are scenes, sometimes happy, sometimes pathetic, showing the different ways in which people use their money. MIRACLE plays great and subtly with the contrasts between the foreigner and the locals. One side of the body lanky of Bernardas, to the image of his attitude to be very comfortable and without discomfort characteristic of those who have money, have a successful and imposes itself naturally.
And on the other the rigid body of Irina, to the image of his spirit and of his lack of trust in others. The speech of Bernardas is a carrier of a new style of management, that the villagers become accustomed to the speech collectivist drink like whey. Because it is not so much the funds of the speech that the form that counts, and the enthusiasm that accompanies it. They are fascinated by what their returns, this man who represents the free world that they expect. And the Cadillac red and imposing, which crosses at full speed for the fields and the lands of the village, itself represents this hope of renewal. The filmmaker has also had the very good idea to ask on his images of the ballads american same cheerful music that Emir Kusturica was on those of his films.
Just as the farm will turn, Irina will also be transformed in the contact of Bernardas. Firstly, because it’s her home, that their bodies brush against each other in the small apartment and they spend a lot of time together. But Irina has for too long neglected her femininity and her feelings for the benefit of his activity and responsibilities within the community. It is not so easy to see another man look at her or accept her husband jealous of this look. As Bernardas behaves more like an opportunist who has other intentions, of which Irina is not fooled, she saw her world collapsing. The last quarter of MIRACLE hands skillfully things and the protagonists in their place, and brings another dimension, miraculous to the film, or even a small life lesson.
MIRACLE stands at the end of a beautiful portrait of a lonely woman, courageous and endearing which a viewer able without difficulty to identify. Because the choice of the ironic tone and the prism of the next naive heroin makes fortunately the about much less cumbersome than the one to which we would have expected in this particular historical context.
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• Achievement : Egle Vertelyte
• Scenario : Egle Vertelyte
• Main players : Eglé Mikulionyte, Vyto Rugynis, Daniel Olbrychski
• Release Date : may 9, 2018.
• Duration : 1h31 min