Monday, December 1, 2014

Invisible Invisible Front

Even though it resonates with what is happening today in Ukraine, the recently released movie depicting the guerrilla war between Lithuania and Stalin's Red Army in the 1940s seems to be vanishing without much trace (at least among the nation's film reviewers). The NY Times gives it all of three paragraphs;
The Invisible Front a documentary about the doomed resistance movement that tried to block the Soviet takeover of Lithuania in the aftermath of World War II, might seem just an interesting bit of fading history were it not for two very timely echoes. One, of course, is that although the Soviet Union is no more, Russia seems to have taken over the role of exerting muscle in neighboring countries.
The other is that the resistance fighters in Lithuania, like some contemporary people in strife-torn places, put too much hope in the idea that the United States would ride to their rescue.
The film centers on the story of Juozas Luksa, a resistance leader who escaped from Lithuania in 1948 to, among other things, try to generate support for the partisans abroad, and then returned to the country voluntarily with the help of the C.I.A. His story didn’t end well — among those heard from in the film is the fellow partisan who ultimately betrayed him — and the resistance was crushed.
Independence finally came in the early 1990s. This film, somewhat clumsy yet full of illuminating interviews, seems mostly like an exercise in building national pride, but it holds lessons for anyone trying to resist an overwhelming force. --NEIL GENZLINGER
Though Film Journal International's Simi Horwitz does justice to the story;
The Invisible Front is a compelling account of life in Soviet-occupied Lithuania and the mind-boggling sacrifice and stunning bravery of the partisans who fought the invading forces with no help from the outside world and virtually no hope of winning. This eye-opening documentary has all the elements of a fine thriller with suspense, danger, betrayal, and a tragic love story at its center. The hero is a charismatic figure right out of an epic work of fiction.
 Coming to a theater near you?

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