The Poet

OV title: Poetas

Country: Lithuania

Directed by: Giedrius Tamoševičius, Vytautas V. Landsbergis

Produced by: Uljana Kim, Vytautas V. Landsbergis for A Propos Studija

Written by: Giedrius Tamoševičius, Vytautas V. Landsbergis

Principal cast: Donatas Želvys, Dainius Gavenonis, Indrė Patkauskaitė

Language: Lithuanian (with English subtitles)

Runtime: 112 min


The Poet tells the true and unique story of the betrayal of the Lithuanian partisans. It is still referred to as the "greatest" betrayal of the freedom fighters by the old people of the Lithuanian provinces who remember those times.

In Lithuania, after the end of the Second World War, after the second Soviet occupation, the war was not over. It continued for at least another ten years. This war is called a guerrilla war because many former officers, students, teachers and priests of independent Lithuania went into the forests to fight against the Soviet occupiers and local collaborators. The occupiers were unable to suppress this resistance by force and had to use other means. One of them was the integration of local traitors into the ranks of the partisans.

The film tells the story of a double agent - a talented poet and writer who was expelled from the Lithuanian SSR Writers' Union for his anti-Soviet literature and who agreed to collaborate with the NKVD (the Soviet Security Committee, later renamed the KGB) in establishing contacts with the partisans. In return for this betrayal (in exchange for "atonement for sin"), he was promised a return to the elite of Soviet Lithuanian writers. But the most paradoxical thing is that, even as a Soviet security agent, he managed to "forget himself" when he was in the forest - he wrote excellent partisan poems, anti-Soviet satires and songs. Only later, when caught by the NKVD, did he again agree to betray the partisans who had already become his friends. Radical swings in the pendulum of political decisions, which took place several times, both in cooperation with the invaders and with Lithuanian freedom fighters. Accompanying both decisions with high-quality underground partisan or Soviet propaganda literature - such moral bipolarity is a tragedy for this man, marking the way in which a large part of the post-war intelligentsia adapted to the occupation.

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