Pelyno Marija (Wormwood Maria)
Beatričė Bukantytė and Rastko Novaković
29 min, 2021

“Wormwood Maria” features two monologues of confrontation. In a charged landscape, a man remembers his past desires, vagabond journeys and betrayals from the 1930s and 1940s. Nearby, a young girl confronts the statue of the Virgin Mary with dreams, songs and injustices from the past.

Our film brings Lithuanian history and landscape into collision with the writings of Dante Alighieri, Jean Genet, Vladimir Mayakovsky and the Yugoslav surrealist Aleksandar Vučo. All of these texts coexist in Lithuanian translations and are brought to life by two performers who bring their lilt, gait and simple gestures to the staging. The performers do not attempt to create characters, but follow Bertolt Brecht’s advice:

“Instead of wanting to create an impression that he is improvising, the actor should rather show what the truth is: he is quoting.”

Directors’ statement here. You can watch a hardcoded screener of the film here.