In the 1960s, cinema in the Baltic states, then still part of the Soviet Union, experienced its own new wave. Directors such as Herz Frank, Uldis Brauns, Ivars Seleckis, Mark Soosaar, Andres Sööt, Robertas Verba, Henrikas Šablevičius and Aivars Freimanis made a name for themselves internationally with poetic documentaries about life and humanity. Through their strong visual and metaphoric approach, these filmmakers rejected the propaganda that served as the official film language.
Bridges of Time revisits the surviving filmmakers who were part of the movement. Excerpts from their films contrast with contemporary footage, and some of the people who featured in the films resurface. Everyone is older, everything has changed, but life as it leapt off the screen back in the 1960s retains a timeless beauty.
The result is a poetic essay that goes in search of what it means to be a documentary filmmaker. “We studied human beings with the resources we had,” says Seleckis. “We had a camera, and time.”