Reality Check

Reality Check Now that I know I'm going back to Lithuania, the dream of making this film remains but I'm also starting to realize how much work is in front of me. The good news is that I may have found a producer. I contacted a woman named Greta who went to film school in the UK and Denmark, and she's willing to help. I'm kind of shocked. She thought the project was interesting and is willing to work for whatever I can pay. I sent her the script and she's going to break it down and do a budget. It'll be interesting to see what she comes up with. The other good news is that Dave Fenster is serious about coming with me to shoot it. His help would be a godsend. The script has been tough to this point and is getting tougher. The more I read about the era, the murkier it gets. Everybody was killing everybody, it was horrific. Germans and Lithuanians killing Jews. Lithuanians killing Russians and Lithuanians. Russians killing everybody. Communists, nationalists, fascists, priests, farmers, teachers, you name it. I took a timeline that breaks the major events of partisan war down and started to reconstruct the whole thing on a map. I can't see any patterns yet, but it's interesting how much was taking place in the smallest villages. The beginning of the war seems to have played out in the most rural areas very far from the centers.

The most pressing problems with the writing have to do with the daily life of the partisans. What did they eat, what did they wear, how did they pass the time, what did they talk about? There is quite a bit of documentation about the major events of the war but little about the life these people were leading in the forests and it reflects in my script. Lots of plot so far, now it needs substance.

At the moment the piece is set around 1945, after the Jewish holocaust in Lithuania. So in terms of characters/events the Jewish history isn't present in my script. I've been urged by the faculty to address it but I've been reluctant. I'm really afraid of getting it all wrong. There aren't any Jews in Lithuania anymore (a VERY small number). I just feel like that story is way too important to address in a superficial or secondary way. One thought I've had is to represent it exactly as it was (in 1945). Jews were gone by then, but they left behind synagogues, cemeteries, homes and property. I wonder if I can tell some of that story by simply showing that they are not there at all.