The Role of a Lifetime

Director: Deimantas Narkevičius

Lithuania, United Kingdom, France, video film, 17 min., 2003
This film combines three distinct elements: the first is an interview with the British film-maker Peter Watkins, recorded in Lithuania where Watkins lived for many years in the course of his self-imposed exile from Britain. The second is a sequence of drawings of the Lithuanian landscape, some depicting an unusual theme park, Grūtas Park, repository of Social Realist sculptures from the post-war era. The third comprises footage of Brighton life, shot by an amateur film enthusiast and deposited in the archives in Brighton. Narkevičius’ construction of the film unites these disparate components, relating sound and image to produce a strangely compelling play between Watkins’ commentary and the imagery on the screen. Peter Watkins and Deimantas Narkevičius share a profound scepticism in relation to images that promise to be authentic representations of history. Independently of each other, they have produced films with similar concerns: deconstructing the conventional visual rhetoric of historic testimony and searching for a cinematic language that does not subject the history to the forces of ideological assimilation or mass media modification.
Section: Deimantas Narkevičius film retrospective

Dir. of Photography: Audrius Kemežys