Small Confession

Maža išpažintis
Director: Algirdas Araminas

Lithuania, 1971, 83 min.

Arūnas, an 18 year old high-school graduate from the port town, is going through a crisis. He is stressed by the school routine and his friend Benas who had been earlier expelled from the school for trivial reasons, suggests he find a job. At home, his father bores Arūnas with his constant recollections about fighting in an antifascist guerrilla squad, while his mother unexpectedly turns back to her old dream of becoming an artist and decides to leave the house, taking her younger son Saulius with her. Arūnas is even more shocked by the fact that his rejuvenated mother now lives with another man, whom little Saulius already calls ‘uncle Povilas’. His father ends up in hospital, because of a grenade fragment lodged in his spine since the war. Arūnas is surrounded by the betrayal of friends. Finally, he finds himself afraid to help Benas in his bold attempt to protect a girl from drunken men. Maybe all these little dramas that grow to enormous magnitude in Arūnas’ mind will look different when a blond girl Rasa puts her hand on his shoulder while he sits sobbing on the beach.

Commentary: Critics used to argue which one of Algirdas Araminas’ films discussing similar issues is riper - When I Was Small (Kai aš mažas buvau) or this one, although the answer is trivial. Both films are warm and precise in terms of perceiving the usually anguished teenager’s parting with childhood. Both films depict the dramas of characters with simple characteristic strokes of poetry and irony. Small Confession is perhaps more intimate. Its title alone shows that the authors are familiar with the progress of world cinema - ‘confession films’ were on the rise all over the world. The feuding, abrasive and quite lonely boy Arūnas, and the more purposeful Benas portrayed by Vytautas Kernagis, were accepted very intimately by the young Lithuanian audience. Despite the quite typical finale in which all conflicts are resolved, the viewers accepted the heroes just like the confused young characters of a much later film Easily and Sweetly (2004) by Ignas Miškinis.

Saulius Macaitis

* Text from www.lfc.lt
* Pictures from the funds of Lithuanian theatre, music and film museum

Section: One hundred Springtimes. Tribute to Vytautas Kernagis

Screenplay: Algirdas Araminas, Icchokas Meras

Dir. of Photography: Donatas Pečiūra

Cast: Andrius Karka, Gediminas Karka, Rūta Staliliūnaitė, Vytautas Kaminskas, Vytautas Kernagis, B.Puskunigis, Monika Mironaitė, Vaiva Mainelytė, Adelė Stonytė, Juozas Budraitis, Gediminas Girdvainis, Ulle Koni, Rasa Kirkilionytė, Vytautas Taukinaitis, Algimantas Masiulis, Bimbaitę, Diana Šimkuvienė (Matuzevičienė); Aleksas Burnickas, Balys Juškevičius, Leonardas Zelčius and others