Isaac (Lithuania, 2019)
Directed by Jurgis Matulevičius
$12 | 1 Hour 44 Minutes | Rated R
In Lithuanian, Russian, and German with English subtitles
Andrius Gluosnis, a Lithuanian activist during his country’s occupation in WWII, comes upon the Lietukis garage massacre by chance just as it is happening in Kaunas in 1941. He sees his Jewish neighbor Isaac there and kills him—with a soldier’s spade. Gluosnis suspects Isaac was the informant who betrayed him to the NKVD (now KGB) and caused him to be jailed as a nationalist. Years after the incident, in Soviet Lithuania, Gluosnis works for the KGB as a forensic photographer, though he opposes the Soviet system and seeks to subvert it. He has a life with the woman of his dreams, but he is haunted by his guilt and can never forget his crime. He is overcome by fear and anxiety. By coincidence, his friend Gediminas Gutauskas, a film director, who left Lithuania during the war and has been living in freedom, returns from the US searching for the truth. He is making a film about the Lietukis massacre, working with a screenplay that depicts the massacre in precise detail… This storyline quickly merges with another plot, where the two friends find they are in love with the same woman. Gutauskas researches the archives of the killings and comes close to concluding that his friend Gluosnis was a perpetrator and not just an observer. His screenplay becomes a piece of evidence for an investigation into those events launched by the KGB. Even while Gutauskas is the KGB’s primary suspect, he feels emotionally torn about his friend Gluosnis, who has murdered Isaac and is convinced that his victim will come back to wreak vengeance.
Q&A with Jurgis Matulevičius (director) after the screening