When Blue Bell-flowers Jingle

Mėlyniesiems katilėliams aidint
Director: Enrika Striogaitė

Lithuania, documentary, 40 min., 2009
“When Blue Bells Jingle” is a documentary about Stasys Ratkevičius, the founder of Kaunas State Puppet Theatre and an extraordinary personality. Ratkevičius has lived a long and colourful life becoming a part of the history of our culture. The characterful, dramatic artist with a great sense of humour reveals the story of his life – the foundation of the first professional puppet theatre, love, the mission of human beings, a railway embankment in a sea of blue bell-flowers in the town of Šeštokai…
Ratkevičius also had a huge interest in music from early childhood. In Šeštokai, where he returned with his family from Russia, he learned to play the violin, the piano and the organ. He also had a beautiful voice and used to sing in the church during Mass. Juozas Matutis, a musical pedagogue and a choirmaster, noticed the 15-year-old Ratkevičius’ talent and invited him to play the organ in the town of Kalvarija, to be officially employed at... a psychoneurology hospital. There, he took an interest in medicine, began studying at the School of Health-Officers at the Military Hospital and later entered the Institute of Medicine. Nevertheless, Ratkevičius admits that finally he was “seduced by music”. He studied at the Conservatory, sang in the Vilnius Philharmonic choir and even in plays with the opera legend Kipras Petrauskas. He attended the choir under the Lithuanian music patriarch Juozas Naujalis and has founded a number of choirs himself.

About the director:
Filmmaker Enrika Striogaitė is also a poet, a writer and a journalist. She was born in Kaunas in 1967. In 2002, she took a Bachelor’s degree in Lithuanian Philology at Vilnius University Kaunas Faculty of Humanities. In 2005–2007, she worked in Kaunas Television as the author and the presenter of the culture show “Konrado kavinė”. She published her first book – a volume of poetry titled “Raining” (Lyja) in 2004, and a book of poetry entitled “Getting Lonely” (Vienišėja) in 2005. Striogaitė is currently writing a novel which has references to the life of Stasys Ratkevičius, filming a documentary about the artist Eugenijus Varkulevičius, and writes for the Lithuanian cultural press.
Section: Special screenings

Dir. of Photography: Antanas Budrys